September 3, 2015

DIY, Part 3

Can't believe i'm writing this, but...Happy September! If you've been following along, here is the third of the projects i set out to make from my "DIY didn't i think of that" Pinterest board. It's been lots of fun taking these projects on and this was (so far) my absolute favorite — Shibori Dyeing.

I picked up some 100% cotton napkins to dye and they were the perfect thing to use to experiment with many different kinds of Japanese tying techniques. I followed this tutorial and it was very easy to follow, probably because Erica was much more methodical in documenting everything than i was! I highly recommend visiting her site to learn about the materials and techniques. Sometimes, it's nice to put the camera down and just enjoy the process! But here are a few photos i took along the way...
string, dowel, wrapped and bound fabric
various Japanese tying techniques
first dip
When you pull the fabric out of the dye bath, it's initially yellow in color. As the fabric oxidizes, it begins to turn blue. This is amazing to watch happen before your eyes!
unrolling fabric as it oxidizes
This technique is called "Arashi", the Japanese word for "storm" and used a 2 foot length of PVC piping (bought at Home Depot). You roll your fabric around the pipe, knot the string around one end, wrap the string around 6-7 times, then scrunch the fabric down toward the knot. Repeat until you've scrunched all the fabric and it looks like this. 
You won't believe it, but the print on the right (below) is what it looks like when you unroll it. Amazing!
Here's a detail. Ah! Indigo is one of my absolute favorite colors.
The next technique is called "Kumo" which is a "pleat and bind" process. I improvised a bit from the instructions on Erica's blog and it's really hard to go wrong. The end-results will look beautiful no matter what.
I found myself saying "i wonder what would happen if..." a lot and then dove-in to some freewheeling experimentation. For this one, i did a simple accordion fold and then rubber-banded (that's a verb right?) the whole length.
And this is what it looked like.
I have no idea how i did this next one (and many of the others).
And this one takes me back to grade school. Just gather the fabric from the center (or the more grown-up off-center) and band it at different intervals down the length of the gather.
It looks something like this every time.
So, how about it? Throw caution to the wind at try your hand at this. Well not literally, because they'll end up blue.

Craft yourself a beautiful day!


  1. I've really enjoyed all your DIY projects this summer.......Janet a fan from Ontario, Canada

  2. I've really enjoyed all your DIY projects this summer.......Janet a fan from Ontario, Canada

  3. They all look really neat but the one done on the PVC pipe is especially neat looking!

  4. You got me at shibori! I have my materials sitting on the shelf and awaiting a perfect day, but I think I may have to just make the time. Yours are inspiring and uplifting! Thank you for the push today.

  5. This looks like so much fun - but will have to wait since the Christmas crunch is already starting up!! It may be one of my 2016 goals, to learn how to dye my own fabric!

  6. I remember to batik a shirt when I was a teenager. I loved this shirt (it was pink:-) Do you know what you'll do with your batiks? Perhaps it's time that you add a few batiks to your next collection (just saying;-)

  7. I've wanted to try this for a long time and after seeing this I'm doing it. They turned out so wonderful. Off to find a PVC pipe :)