Shibori1My sister is rubbish at being idle.
In her first week of uni holidays, she:
– created a website compiling all the research on our family’s genealogy;
– took my kids on an excursion to a wildlife park;
– planned a trip to Vietnam;
– organised a sisterly shibori session.

Shibori is a Japanese tradition that involves twisting and folding fabrics, binding the fabric and then dyeing it in indigo.
The best part?
There is no right or wrong way to shibori.


There are many fantastic shibori DIY tutorials in the blogosphere.
So I’m not going to give you a step-by-step How To.
I’m just going to point you in the right direction and throw in 5 useful tips.

ShiboriWe referred to these awesome tutorials from Design Sponge, Honestly WTF and Alice & Lois.
We bought this shibori kit via eBay.
The shibori kit also comes with comprehensive instructions.
This is definitely the kind of DIY activity where you really need to read and understand ALL OF THE instructions first.
When your hands are covered in indigo dye, you do not want to have to refer back to the instruction manual!

ShiboriTip #1:
For different tie-dye results, shibori requires a range of tools and materials.
You’ll need rubber bands, wooden blocks and PVC piping.
Research the kinds of shibori designs that you like to ensure that you have all the necessary equipment.
Get creative!
At one point, I was scrunching up aluminium foil to create a ball. I placed my ball in the centre of the muslin, bound it with rubber bands and voila….


Tip #2:
Invest in some heavy-duty rubber gloves and some drop sheets.
Shibori can get messy!
We did all of our dying outside.

Tip #3:
Clear your schedule. Shibori is time-intensive and labourious. (The results are worth it though!)
We set aside an entire day to shibori and did the fabric-binding and dying over the course of the day.
You could do your fabric binding in advance.
We went from 10am – 4ish, and had to work around getting a toddler and baby to bed.
Luckily, Nanna also came over and hung out to help with the littlies.
We left our pieces overnight before unwrapping and rinsing them the next morning.

Tip #4:
Check that your buckets hold the required amount of liquid.
We assumed that a standard bucket would be sufficient.
But alas they were not big enough.
So in a moment that would have made MacGuyver proud, we turned the esky into a dye vat.
Once the dye is in the vat, you need to limit oxidisation. So your vat needs to have a lid that creates an air-tight seal.

Tip #5:
Shibori works best on fabrics made of natural fibres.
We discovered that muslin wraps absorbed the dye beautifully.
Our shibori session resulted in:
– 2 muslin wraps
– 2 calico bags
– 2 cotton cushion covers


– 4 cotton pillow cases


– 12 cotton tea towels


We only dipped our items once. You can wait for your items to dry and then submerge them in the dye bath again.
The more you submerge, the darker the indigo of your item.
We had a lot of dye left over. To the point where I was running around the house going “WHAT ELSE CAN I DYE?!”
If you keep your dye vat covered, it will keep for up to 5 days.
By this stage, we were honestly a little bit over it and the thought of dying anything else was TOO MUCH.
So we discarded the leftover dye.

We immediately regretted this decision when we unwrapped all of our pieces and could admire our handiwork.

Guess what everybody is getting for Christmas this year?