Itajime Techniques for You to Try

I'd like to share a few dyeing techniques with you this week! In my last post, we talked about the acrylic shapes I love for Itajime Shibori. So, this week I have some tips for using the basic square shapes. It's amazing what you can do with a simple folded square of fabric, a pair of acrylic shapes and a few other supplies!

The square of fabric I'm holding above has been accordion folded. That allows the Indigo dye to reach the parts of the fabric that have not been manipulated for resist. Let's look at three different things to do with a square folded in this same way.

For this first Itajime technique, I used a pair of acrylic squares smaller than the folded fabric. I put it in the middle of the square of fabric and used two really strong clamps to hold it. You can make sure the acrylic squares are almost perfectly lined up in the middle by feeling on both sides or measuring. 

My second square of folded fabric was sandwiched in between acrylic squares close to the size of the fabric. I put one on both sides of the fabric square and wrapped them with rubber bands in a grid shape. The rubber bands go across the folds because I like the look of the strips that will come out white when it's dyed.

My acrylic squares come in 2”, 3” or 4” sizes in pairs. Click here to take a look. I have lots of different shapes on my site for you. Click here to see all my acrylic shapes!

Now, there's one more manipulated square that didn't use the acrylic shapes. For this little tied roll in the middle of the picture, I set the folded fabric square on point and did a random accordion fold back and forth. Then I used strong string to wrap it tight and tied a knot. Without a knot, it will come undone in the dye vat.

So what will these accordion folded, tied, clamped and rubber banded fabrics look like when they’re dyed? Well, I don’t know yet. That’s a big part of the fun! I have some idea because I’ve been Shibori Indigo Dyeing for many, many years now. One of them might look like this student-dyed scarf (above) that you saw last week. But, that moment when you undo and open your fabric is really where the magic happens!

It's your turn now! Order some shapes so you can make your own magic. I will warn you that Itajime or any kind of Indigo Shibori Dyeing is addictive. But, there are certainly many addictions that are much worse!

When it comes to dyeing, not all  fabric is created equal and you'll want fabric that will give you the best results for your work and time. If you need fabric that's good for dyeing, click here to view the Prepared For Dyeing fabrics that I offer. This Japanese Cotton Kimono Fabric is perfect for starting out and for making samples. At just 13-1/2" wide, it's very easy to work with and one of my favorites!

I have been busy recording a new Stitched Shibori Dyeing class for Creative Spark and I am so glad it’s almost done for you. I'll let you know as soon as it's ready!

In the meantime, I have a Creative Spark class on making your own Organic Indigo Dye Vat that you will enjoy. It’s everything you need to know to get started with Indigo Dyeing. Click here to buy the class. You’ll own it forever, so viewing is unlimited and it's a great resource!


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