She Made Modern | SHI SHI Shibori
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SHI SHI Shibori

My cool ass shibori made with a stained and ripped Ikea curtain.

Shibori is the pretentious hipster’s answer to tie-dye.  Am I a pretentious hipster?  Well, I definitely have some of the markings of one, but I might be way too old, too much of a hick, too much of a goober, and wear way too many bootcut jeans ( I think this fact alone precludes me from entering the hipster category).  Although, I do like to partake in some alternative trends here and there, which is very hipstery and I think shibori is alternative decor “de rigueur” ( <— ooh look, I may not be a real hipster but I am pretentious!).

Decidedly not hipster bootcut/flare pants and a shibori shirt.

A few of my friends and I used shibori experimentation as an excuse to ignore our kids and hang out together.  We gathered up our scraps of cloth and dirty sheets and curtains and experimented ’til our hands turned blue, y’all (<– hick talk, not hipster see).   I bought a kit from Amazon  and gathered up a bunch of clothespins, twine , rubber bands, clamps, paperclips, wood scraps, and pipe and we done did it (hick again)!  It was really easy and satisfying!.

The directions that come with the kit basically say to mix the dye and additives with warm water (without adding too much oxygen in the process aka slowly) in a 5 gallon bucket and let it sit for about 30 minutes.  Then, dip in your pre-folded, pre-moistened fabric (natural fiber fabrics) for about a minute. Let sit for 20 minutes and then either re-dip for more saturated color and wait 20 more minutes or move on to rinsing.  It looks yellow/green when it comes out of the dye vat and then oxidizes to blue.  If you want to be a goober (not hipster) like me and learn more about the chemistry, then click here.

You then rinse the piece (while still folded) in fresh water and then unfold and hang to dry.  Parts will still look green before it all oxidizes to various shades of blue.  The whole process had me giddy.  Absolutely no skill was necessary to make such pretty things. It was a very satisfying experiment that I will definitely do again. Everything in my house is going to end up being shibori – curtains, shower curtains, bedspreads, clothes, and I’ve been seriously considering dyeing the dogs.

We basically did two types of shibori: Arashi and Itajime.  Arashi is the process where you roll the fabric on a diagonal on a tube and then wrap with twine and scrunch down.  If you fold it in half first, you get a nice chevron effect.  (See the first set of pictures below.  All I had around the house was corrugated drainage pipe that made it impossible to scrunch it down but I said screw it and tried it anyway just to see what happened.  I recommend something smooth to get a neater effect but wabi sabi was the name of the game here for me.)

Itajame is the process of folding the fabric and then sandwiching with wooden blocks on the sides and securing with strings and/or clamps etc.  Most of the other pics show variations of this type.  If you like being exact and anal about your crafting, this is a good one for you.  You can crease and iron and measure ’til your heart’s content.  All of ours were done in a pretty haphazard non-anal manner though.

Arashi Shibori

This is what these barstools looked like when my husband brought them home from the thrift store and I threw up in my mouth.  I scraped the finish off and cut the back down to make it lower and then reupholstered the back with my son’s star wars blanket (he was pissed- but it had a hole in it, I swear, and he has 5 more star wars blankets).

Itajime Shibori

Here are the pillowcases that were made dingy by my kids’ dirty little heads.  Now they are all pretty again. On the right is one dirty kid all sick and sad and cute.

Okay, okay, I’m probably a hipster considering how much I doth protest (and like shibori).  Eh screw it, I give up.  I guess i’ll break out all those skinny jeans and grow a beard.

  • Lynda Patzke

    April 13, 2017 at 8:41 am Reply

    Fantastic! I’m going to try this.

  • Emily Wilson-Perry

    April 13, 2017 at 10:26 am Reply

    soooo cool! I want to learn!

  • Kelli Puckett

    April 14, 2017 at 1:58 pm Reply

    Love it and you! Nice job.

  • Katie Wilson

    April 17, 2017 at 8:34 pm Reply

    Awesome. Love it

  • A.T. Dodson

    July 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm Reply

    So talented, but I’d say you’re more of a hip-py 😉

    • shae

      July 28, 2017 at 10:11 pm Reply

      Probably right, more of a hippy. I’m too old to be a hipster 🙂

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