Mammoth Memory

Shibori – The technique where a fabric is folded, gathered, wrapped and bound prior to the application of dye

(Pronounced shi-bawr-ee)

Note: Shibori is often seen in the textiles of Japan and is commonly thought of in the west as tie-dye.

To remember what shibori means use the following mnemonic:

She bored him so much he (shibori) wanted to die (dye).

She bored him so much he (shibori) wanted to die (dye).

For this project, you'll need an item or items to dye. White natural material works best, such as a 100% cotton t-shirt. You'll also need string and 2 buckets, one for clean water and one for the dye and finally you'll need the dye. You can use any colour, but traditional shibori is indigo.

For this project, you'll need an item to dye. White natural material works best, such as a 100% cotton t-shirt. You'll also need string and 2 buckets, one for clean water and one for the dye and finally you'll need the dye. You can use any colour, but tra

There are several different tying methods in shibori which, when done properly, can take years to master, so why not try experimenting with different methods! Try wrapping the fabric around a pole and winding the string around it, or folding the fabric like an accordion and sandwiching it between two wooden shapes. Kumo shibori consist of pinching the fabric and tying bands or string around the pinched sections until it resembles a deep-sea creature! You can even use marbles or beads and place them under the fabric, tie the string underneath the marbles until the fabric is covered in bobbles.

There are several different tying methods in shibori which, when done properly, can take years to master, so why not try experimenting with different methods

Each method will create a very different pattern which can be almost impossible to guess if you're not a master. 

Before putting your bundles in the dye, dip them in the clean water to wet (but not soak) them to help the dye spread more evenly. 

Before putting your bundles in the dye, dip them in the clean water to wet (but not soak) them to help the dye spread more evenly. 

Each dye is different, so follow the instructions for the dye you have and mix it into the water. If you're dying cotton, it's a good idea to add salt to help the dye take. Make sure to wear long rubber gloves to prevent any stained skin!

Leave the bundles in the dye for 5 to 20 minutes and stir gently with a stainless steel spoon.

Leave the bundles in the dye for 5 to 20 minutes and stir gently with a stainless steel spoon.

When you take the bundles out, they will appear bright green, but they'll soon oxidise and turn dark blue. You can dip them again, depending on how dark you would like the colour to be, bare in mind it will lighten when dry and after it's rinsed.

When you take the bundles out, they will appear green, but they'll soon oxidise and turn blue.

Leave the bundles to dry. Once dry, untie them and wash them on a warm setting in the washing machine.

Finally, you can enjoy your shibori dyed items!

Finally, you can enjoy your shibori dyed items!

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