This post contains affiliate links for your convenience and to assist in the maintenance of this site.
A couple weeks ago I hosted a Natural Dye workshop in El Paso and learned about the amazing world of natural dyes and shibori! In case you are as clueless about shibori as I was:
Shibori (Shiborizome) is a Japanese term for several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, compressing it, or capping. Some of these methods are known in the West as tie-dye.
The process is really easy (but kinda messy!) and older kids would really enjoy it. It’s like opening presents on Christmas Day every time you start unwrapping a dyed cloth! Don’t forget to wear some gloves if you don’t want your hands to be dyed for days.
Natural Dye & Shibori
- Dried Hibiscus Flowers (often found in Mexican grocery stores under the name Jamica)
- Natural Fabric (cotton, silk, wool, etc)
- Tub (I got a plastic one at the dollar store)
- Random Wood Pieces (Jumbo Craft Sticks, Clothes Pins, Decorative Pieces, Squares, Circles)
- Rubber Bands or Hemp Twine
2. Place cloth in a hot bath of water to help the fibers accept the dye more. Leave them there until until ready to fold, pulling one out at a time.
3. Assemble your shibori aids. The wonderful people at Consumer Crafts donated the supplies for the workshop and everyone was totally impressed with the quality of wood! Highly suggest them.
4. Strain flowers while pouring dye into plastic tub.
5. Start folding and wrapping your fabric. There are tons of different techniques you can google but really the sky’s the limit!
I really like how the one I wrapped around a recycled bottle turned out but would have wrapped it a little looser so that more of the fabric could have been dyed.
This one is my favorite! First I accordion folded the fabric four times into a long strip and then accordion folded that in a triangle (think paper football). I then sandwiched the fabric in between four popsicle sticks that were tightly bound at the end with rubber bands.
I wanted to experiment with how detailed I could get with the wood pieces and I was amazed with the results! With this piece, I accordion folded the fabric until it was about 1 1/2 wide. Then I accordion folded that strip in three and sandwiched it between matching wood pieces held in place with clothespins. Some of the detail was obviously lost in the middle but I love how the bird piece came out!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and give natural dye and shibori a try! It’s really quite addictive. 😀
Thank you, once again, Consumer Crafts for donating to my Natural Dye Workshop and for supporting local arts!