What is Shibori?

In short, Shibori is an ancient Japanese technique of dying cloth fabrics while using a variety of binding methods to achieve a variety of patterns and effects. Indigo or purple root is the typical dying agent used which offers a rich, deep blue.

Believe it or not, at some point in time, most likely when we were kids we played with Shibori techniques. Ever heard of tie-dye? I often refer to Shibori as tie-dye for grown-ups. It’s really not that different.  It’s a bit more simplified, in that we only use one color rather than several, and the patterns are more intentional and less random.

Think of it as a more artistic approach to your dying project.

So, why do I bring up Shibori? For starters, it’s quite popular right now. Just head over to Target and you’ll find a variety of Shibori inspired home decor pieces from wall art to throw pillows. It’s even on clothing!

Picture courtesy of HonestlyWTF

Secondly, it’s such an easy look to achieve, you can literally do-it-yourself on salvaged material…think, old white cotton sheets, canvas drop cloth or linen and muslin. Refresh your curtains, stitch together a quick throw pillow or dye some plain cotton dish towels.

Feeling like purple root and indigo are hard to come by? I would never use those agents to dye my fabrics. There isn’t much room for error by way of spillage or clean-up as they seriously stain! But, Annie Sloan Paint works brilliantly to dye fabric and the prep and clean-up are a breeze.

Napoleonic Blue is my color of choice as it most closely mimics the indigo shade on traditional Shibori pieces. But, you can mix up the blues and throw in some Greek Blue, Giverny or Aubusson Blue.

If you’re itching to learn different Shibori techniques, we are offering a workshop during our DIY @ Dusk Summer Series. Just click here for more information and to sign-up. It’s a killer deal at just $45 for one person or $50 for two. So, bring a friend (and a bottle of wine with you)! All supplies are included and you will go home with your own tote-bag!

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