Shibori 101

New to Shibori?  Here are the basics:

  • Shibori is not the same process or aesthetic as the rainbow tee shirt tie-dye technique you learned in third grade! Shibori is actually a very sophisticated and beautiful Japanese resist/dye process for fabric that originated with Japan’s royal court in 756 A.D.
  • After gaining popularity among Japanese royalty, shibori dyeing then spread to “the masses,” becoming a technique seen in garments of all classes, as well as in Buddhist temple banners, canopies, ships’ flags, palace curtains, and painted scrolls.
  • There is no specific equivalent to the word “shibori” in English, but most people recognize “shibori” to be a group of techniques for shaping, squeezing, pressing, and stitching cloth before dyeing.
  • Shibori is different than other resist techniques (like batik) because the edges of the resisted areas are often soft or blurry.
Shibori-dyed silk scarf, ©Brett Barker, 2012.