Shibori Dyeing - My Wonderful Obsession

The release of a new collection of my Shibori fabrics for Moda always takes me back to my beginnings with Shibori Indigo Dyeing. My newest collection, Kawa, is now shipping to stores and available for pre-order on my web site. So, I'm reminiscing about the first time I dipped my gloves into Indigo. It has been and continues to be a wonderful, life-changing journey!

Many years ago, I took a one day Shibori Dyeing class with Kaari Meng,, founder and owner of French General fabrics. It was just enough to hook me in. For life!! I was fascinated with the stitched Shibori resist techniques I learned and spent hours and hours excitedly stitching fabrics to be Indigo dyed.

Learning as much as possible about Shibori Indigo Dyeing became my obsession, so I began traveling for the education I desired. Bryan Whitehead of Japanese Textile Workshops taught my first overseas experience. Ten intense days in Japan! Bryan lives in a remote, mountain village in Japan where he grows and processes his own Indigo. I learned an incredible amount, but still wanted more.

Next, I hopped on a plane to the UK and traveled to Norfolk. England for a seven day class with Jane Callendar at her ‘Blue Leaf” studio.  Jane is an author as well as a skilled teacher. In my personal library, I have 17 books about Shibori and Indigo Dye and I treasure her book, Stitched Shibori. What a great experience it was to work with Jane in her studio!

The next stop for my obsession was with Amy Putansu for two weeks of study at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Tennessee. Two weeks of Shibori dyeing in the beautiful Smoky Mountains! It was an amazing time of learning, experimenting and lots of daily dips into deep blue Indigo. 

One of my most treasured learning opportunities was with Gasali Adyamo from Nigeria. He taught a week long class at John C Campbell Folk School and it was such a privilege to be able to attend. The Folk School is an amazing place and I have since had the honor of teaching Shibori Indigo Dyeing there several times. Such a joyous experience!

Aboubakar Fofana of Mali, a producer and designer of beautiful, modern Shibori textiles, was my next teacher. He taught a five-day class where I learned a tremendous amount about dyeing with natural Indigo. Shibori Dyeing is a global art and a little different in each country where it is practiced. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed exploring and learning each variation!

But, this is not the end . . . . . .

Classes are a wonderful way to learn. There’s nothing like getting your hands on fabric, preparing and manipulating it for resists, then excitedly dipping it into a dye pot while guided by a skilled teacher. I am thrilled to now be counted among those who teach Shibori Indigo Dyeing techniques and methods and I travel often to teach. It is a great privilege to introduce others to my obsession and share what I have learned. If you’d like to join me in a class there are still opportunities this year! Click here to check my calendar and see what fits your schedule.

I will continue to teach all over the US as often as I can but, I will also always be a student. My obsession with Shibori and my commitment to Natural Indigo Dyeing and teaching fills my life with joy and gives me purpose each day!


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