Shibori Dyeing Workshop at Colony Club in August


Last Tuesday the DC Distill Creative Chapter held a Shibori Dyeing workshop at Colony Club (a local coffee bar + ping pong spot). So what is shibori dyeing? It’s a Japanese manual resist-dyeing technique and the process is similar to tie-dyeing but you can use a variety of techniques with indigo dye on a natural fiber, like cotton, hemp, or silk. 

Shibori Indigo Dye Folding.jpg

There are several shibori techniques that create various patterns, we covered three in the workshop (we also did a bit of freestyling):

  • Itajami: Itajime shibori is a shaped-resist technique. Traditionally, the cloth is sandwiched between two pieces of wood, which are held in place with string. The shapes prevent the dye from penetrating the fabric they cover.

  • Arashi: Arashi shibori is also known as pole-wrapping shibori. The cloth is wrapped on a diagonal around a pole. Then the cloth is very tightly bound by wrapping thread up and down the pole. Next, the cloth is scrunched on the pole. The result is a pleated cloth with a design on a diagonal. "Arashi" is the Japanese word for storm. The patterns are always on a diagonal in arashi shibori which suggest the driving rain of a heavy storm.

  • Kumo: Kumo shibori is a pleated and bound resist. This technique involves pleating sections of the cloth very finely and evenly. Then the cloth is bound in very close sections. The result is a very specific spider-like design.

So on to the process! We created our indigo dye bath 30 minutes prior to the start of the workshop. Once we got started, we then we took our cotton tea towels and used the three techniques to manipulate them. We then soaked our tea towels in water. 


After soaking in water, we placed our tea towels in the indigo dye bath. 


And here are the final results drying so they can be packed up and taken home!


Shenneth Dove-Morse is our DC Distill Creative Chapter Leader and hosts monthly creative workshops in DC. Check out her upcoming workshops in Washington, DC here

If you’re interested in shibori indigo dyeing, check out our new shibori indigo dyeing online course!