Introduction: Indigo Dyeing: Shibori

In this instructable we will cover three different types of Shibori; binding, block and the relief patterning wrapping a skane wrap will give.

Shibori is the japanese art of covering a section of cloth to resist absorbing dye or oxidation and therefore will leave the relief the color of the fabric, different methods can be applied to create seepage and some interesting edge effects. It dates back to the 8th century and was usually done with Indigo.

Step 1: Find a Partner

A fellow human bean will be needed for most of these steps. A clamp may help too. 

Other materials:

Wooden block, saw if new shape is desired
Water atomizer
Mixed Indigo vat

Step 2: Starting the Skein

First off we are concentrate onthe skein technique, anyone having worked with wool will know this well however we will go through it briefly.

With your partner standing oppisite you holding two ends of the cloth each, do a thumb forefinger pleat at the same rate as eachother matching either side.

Turn to the side i.e face right, 90 degrees to the cloth, your partner the same. Start twisting the length, holding tension firm and therefore keeping pleats in place.

When fully bound the length will want to contract. Place finger in centre and join end to end, your partner now holds both ends.

Step 3: Half Bound

Now twist in opposite direction to create the skein leaving a loop to pass the two ends your partner is holding through to secure in place.

Step 4: Finished Skein

Dip in prepeared vat - 2 min dips, 20 min oxides
No need to open, only fringe

After 3 dips in a pale vat you can undind and re twist to create a pale resist base layer over-dyed with a deeper tone (darker vat) this can create some great multi layered patterning.

Step 5: Block Technique

Select cloth, iron if necessary,

Concertina pleat into 4, this ensures that no points of the cloth are hidden in folds.

Step 6: Fold Into a Square

Fold into squares - again in concertina fashion. One pair of hands keeping tension. The more exact the folds the more uniform and symmetrical the end result will be.

Step 7: Spray

Spray to dampen and flatten fabric.

Step 8: Cut Paper

Take wooden template and draw around shape on paper, cut two out.
Place paper on fabric in desired position and place wooden block on top and underside, the paper sandwiched next to the textile creates interesting and varied dyes results as it absorbs the indigo at a different rate.

Step 9: Clamping

Clamp both top and underside of wooden blocks firmly. The positioning and pressured applied of the clamps will affect the seepage of the indigo and give many possibilities for patterning.

Step 10: Dye!

Attach some string so as not to lose the prepared garment in the vat.

Dip into prepared vat (see previous instructable) immersing piece without presoaking it in water will give clearer more defined edges.

Step 11: Open Edges

Lift out and open folds of accessible edges to allow oxidize process to occur in hidden parts.

This takes about 20 mins for green to fix fully into blue.

Repeat this process dipping two mins each time, up to six times for strong deep shades.

Step 12: Reveal

Undo clamps and carefully open folded cloth to reveal unique pattern.

Step 13: Finished Block Print

Step 14: Rope Twist

Up to the finger and thumb pleat of the skane tutorial the steps are the same.

At this point however many different materials can be use, we chose webbing and some plastic bag scraps. Thick string can also work very well. 

We did a broad spiral and then at about 1ft intervals wrapped a tight band about an inch wide. 

Step 15: Tension

Keeping tension tight is of paramount importance if clear white/material colored bands are wanted.

Step 16: Elastic Bands Etc

This whole band may want to unravel if a spiral isn't done in the opposite direction. In this case tie either end to a stick to hold whole piece in contortion.
Elastic bands can also be used to keep dye off patches you really don't want it to get too.

In this photo the piece has a been dyed five times and the process of unwrapping is taking place.

Step 17: Some Finished Scarves

The leopard skin pattern on the left is a skane bind and the other two are string binds.

It is near nye impossible to get the same effect twice, annoying if trying to repeat something that went well but i think more fun feeling that excitement whilst unbinding not knowing what your going to get.

Enjoy the summer and experimenting with Shibori!

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