Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shibori lesson #1 - Mokume

Shibori is a Japanese method of folding, stitching, binding, wrinkling, etc. cloth before dyeing to create a variety of designs. It's similar to tie-dye. You could think of it as "refined" tie-dye.
My friend, Annalisa, taught me a few shibori methods in the Caribbean that I have just gotten around to trying out. Here is the first lesson:
Mokume - wood grain
1. Using a running stitch, stitch back and forth across a section of fabric. Pull the thread to tightly pleat the fabric. Be careful, and figure out a way to not break the thread :)
Since the stitches aren't perfectly aligned, they won't evenly pleat the fabric - which is what we want- and will create a wood grain pattern.

2. Wet the stitched fabric and place in dye (I used yellow onion skins).

3. When finished dyeing, remove the fabric and rinse in water. Then, cut the stitches and rinse off remaining dye.

Mokume after drying and ironing:

I soaked the onion skins much longer than in my first dye trial. This made the color much stronger. Below photo shows that first dye trial in the center for comparison.

***Genius idea to get more onion skins faster without having to eat more onions: get them right from the store! I even paid for them...though I'm sure I didn't need to. (It was $0.14)


bint Curt said...

Thank you so much. I have always wanted to tie dye and recently started but then i discovered indigo and then shibori. I am fascinated, addicted and enthralled. I spent hours online but I can't find much practical how to for stitching, folding and clamping shibori so i love your post. Your directions are clear and the pictures are great! Keep up the good work!
~Leslie (aka Umm Sakina)

Theresa said...

I love this! I definitely want to try it.