Shibori Textile Dyeing

When I was a teenager I used to love tie dyeing. No item made of fabric was immune. I’d attack my t shirts, bed sheets, socks. You name it. Now, many years later, I’ve got the tie dye bug again. Except now I know it’s beautiful name – Shibori.

Shibori is the Japanese term for dyeing cloth with a pattern by folding, twisting or binding it. As my favourite colour at the moment is indigo, I thought I’d dye some fabric in that colour and use it to decorate my home. I’m really pleased with the results and can’t wait to show you.

I decided to revamp a cushion cover that was looking a bit tired, two European pillow cases, two old cot sheets, a single bed flat sheet, and a single bed quilt cover.

I like a nice random appearance, so I crumpled each item into a ball, then tightly wound string around them and tied it in a knot.

Fabric in the dye bath

I used machine dye, but after having unsuccessful results in the past with machine dyeing (the string came undone and I was left with a block colour) I mixed it in the laundry sink and left it to soak, turning the fabric every now and then. The most important ingredient is salt, lots of salt. All dye is different so just read the instructions.

Shibori lounge cover

The results were great. Here’s one of the cot sheets being used as a lounge cover. This blue colour goes beautifully with orange, and I’ve thrown in a handful of orange accessories, including my beloved Penguin paperbacks, vintage cotton spools (50 cents each from a market), an IKEA cushion, a plank of wood rescued from the side of the road, and a retro inspired Aktavite tin.

Shibori tablecloth

Doesn’t this single bed sheet look gorgeous as a tablecloth? The patterns are so interesting and the colour looks great with my plates collected from the throw out box at the front of a local antique store.

Shibori pillow cases

The European pillow cases look lovely on the bed with the revamped cushion cover. The printed birds on the cushion stand out against the dark blue dye. Again, orange is an obvious choice to compliment the blue and don’t they look great against the natural linen quilt cover?

shibori cushion


shibori cushions

I stitched up some simple cushion covers and I love them in my loungeroom with the other more neutral cushions. They add a great pop of colour and pattern.

And don’t throw away the string. It’s great for wrapping presents .

There’s so many things I could use the fabric for. I plan on making some bunting for my back veranda. Spring is on it’s way and they will pretty up my outdoor entertaining area. A large piece of fabric hung from a piece of dowel or even an interesting branch would make a great wall hanging. I’ll post an update as soon as I’ve finished these projects.

I just used one colour, but multiple colours can be used. Once one colour is finished, just tie the fabric again and follow the same procedure.

I always love feedback so feel free to let me know what you think, or if you have any questions, or if there’s anything you’d like to see here at The Fabulous Scavenger.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s