Mustard Week Part III

Today’s piece should be titled “How to Ruin Perfectly Good Shibori.”  I used bamboo again, I just love the way it takes dye and I love the way it ties in, materially speaking, with the shibori method.

After folding and clamping itajime-style, I soaked the entire piece in lavender for almost six hours.  I was reading about using whole leaves and flowers inside a scarf or fabric so that the leaves “printed” themselves onto the piece.

So I grabbed some (red and brown) leaves from my backyard, placing them on the bamboo scarf then folding and tying it, trying to keep the same geometric areas that were created with the lavender itajime.

I left the entire piece to steep overnight, excited to see the leaf shapes combine with the itajime.  Uh….that did not happen.  Instead, I got these little splotches of brown and red, looking like someone had come over and spilled some kind of weird goop onto a perfectly fine scarf.  Oh well.  I’m chalking this one up to experience and moving on. The only thing worth repeating, in my opinion, is the diagonal itajime folding.

Itajime with lavender and leaves on bamboo, detail
Itajime with lavender and leaves on bamboo, detail


Published by

Brett Barker

Brett Barker is a painter, textile artist, art/design instructor, and writer whose career spans more than 25 years. Originally from New Mexico, she now resides in Redondo Beach, California. She has taught fine art, artistic design, and textile design to numerous individuals, art guilds, and organizations throughout the U.S. She has a Master's Degree in Art Education from the University of Nebraska. Her artwork sells throughout the U.S. and is available on her website, She is currently undertaking a year-long investigation of Japanese shibori dyeing that will culminate in a trip to Japan to study under a master shibori artist in September of 2016. Her shibori blog can be found at Her surface and textile designs can be found at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *