The last day of the Natural Dyeing class was all about indigo dyeing. I’ve always admired Japanese shibori dyeing, so I couldn’t wait to try it out in this class. Shibori is a method of creating patterns on fabric during the dyeing process by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, or compressing it.

I got the idea to dye fabric for a dress from Melissa and pre-cut and serged all my pieces beforehand. This way I could plan exactly where the shibori would be located on the dress. I used a pure white muslin rather than a natural coloured one to keep the blue clearer. To create my design I placed screws (of various sizes and shapes) underneath my fabric and wrapped each one up tightly with heavy upholstery thread. This is a fairly labour intensive type of shibori, but I really liked the circular patterns it creates.

Deeper blue colours are achieved through repeated immersion into the dye vat. I was able to dip my pieces into the vat four times. It’s a bit hard to tell what the colour will dry as, it is always much darker when it’s wet. When I unwrapped all the screws, several of them had transferred rust marks onto the fabric which I actually really like. The fabric dried to a really nice blue and I even like the slightly uneven colouring, it gives it a vintage feel.

Shibori tights? Yes, please!

Next post – the finished dress!

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