Fabric Dyeing: Introductory Shibori Skills | Elsa K | Skillshare

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Fabric Dyeing: Introductory Shibori Skills

teacher avatar Elsa K, fabric dyer + surface pattern designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (38m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supply List

    • 3. Prepping Your Fabric

    • 4. Basic Stitched Circle

    • 5. Parallel Lines Circle

    • 6. Diagonal Lines Circle

    • 7. Burst Circle

    • 8. Gathering and Knotting

    • 9. Dyeing

    • 10. Conclusion

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About This Class

Learn some basic, yet beautiful skills for creating indigo-dyed Shibori textiles! Shibori is about tightly binding fabric so that dye can't reach certain places on the cloth. In this class, you'll be introduced to four different stitching techniques that open up a host of possibilities.

Meet Your Teacher

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Elsa K

fabric dyer + surface pattern designer



So glad you've made your way to my Skillshare page!

I'm Elsa, a designer and lover of textiles. I sew, design surface patterns, and practice Shibori dyeing. It's so exciting to find new creative paths in this wonderful world of fabric, and I'm thrilled to share some of my knowledge and skills with you!

Keep up with my latest work on Facebook or Instagram, and check out my portfolio here.

I can't wait to see what you create!

-Elsa K


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1. Introduction: Hi, everyone. Thanks for tuning into my skill share Class on fabric dying. My name is Elsa, and I'm so excited to share with you a little piece of my love for textiles in this class. I'll be introducing you to show Boeri, which is the ancient Japanese tradition of resist dyeing, should worry is all about finding, gathering, scrunching the fabric in such a way that you create certain areas on the cloth that die. I can't quite get Teoh. The result is an effect that most people would recognize as a sort of tied will be walking through four different she Borys stitching techniques that opened up a world possibilities for users. Class Project is to create a ship Ori sampler, featuring four skills that will be learning. You'll see that the circles in the top road use the same stitching technique just with slight variation. And then the bottom three circles showcase the other three skills 2. Supply List: before we begin, I would like to know that you can find a supply list for this class under the projects and resource is tab down below. Let's go through it quickly together. First, you need to get your hands on a dike. It This is a very easy to use and to go die kids. Everything that you need is included. It's a good go to in the video is a traditional color, a traditional diet to use for chivalry, but feel free to find another Diakhate. There's another color that you want to work with. The next thing that we need it is a piece of cloth. I want to using this Cotton Square that I've already happened myself. I also have a fair amount of experience with silk. The important thing here is to simply read the instructions on your dyke. It's so you make sure you choose a fabric that will work. Some guys work much better with natural fibers, other way synthetic fibers. Next, you're gonna need something to just trace some circles onto your fabric. Whether that's a coffee mug, I really like this blue tape roll. Whatever works size wise for you, go with it for actually drawing those circles onto your cloth. A disappearing ink pen is gold. You can draw anything that you want to on the cloth, and you don't have to worry about having to cover it up or somehow erase it later. It'll just disappear in the air long enough, or once it hits the water in the dye bath. She's sharp. Needle and some bright Fred are necessary for these stitching projects. I like to use a thread that contrasts with the white fabric that I'm working with and also with the fabric once it died. So this will stand out nicely against the white and against the dark blue. You sure have scissors and the scene river, especially eczema, prefer when the time comes for us to cut out the stitches and reveal our final designs, then for the actual dying process. I really like these plastic drop cloths just to protect whatever surface that you're working on. The actual die goes in a five gallon bucket, and I also have this plastic shoebox here that can hold the fabric in between dye bath dips . And then finally, I use just a cheap wooden yardstick to stir the died death 3. Prepping Your Fabric: So I got my fabric laid out here on the table. I have my disappearing eight pen and my blue tape, which I'm going to use to trace so you could go ahead and draw seven different circles all over your fabric. Leo is up to you. The only ship I would share is I wouldn't put the circles too close together just to make sure that once it's died, you can see the individual techniques and they're not running into each other. At the end of the day, he stitches. That you make are way more important than the line saying Draw so entry. Circle the fabric. Be as precise as you'd like about that. But the actual lines don't have to be that need your beautiful way just happen here as a reference 4. Basic Stitched Circle: the first circles we're going to stitch on the top three. These are the most basic circles just created with a few lines of straight stitches. To get started here, I've cut a nice long piece of thread and put my needle on it. You want your thread to be long enough that you have plenty to work with, but not so long. It's all going to get tangled. I always double up my thread. So I have it here on the needle. So and then the ends together. All right. But I want to just make sure that it's laying on the needle nicely and will make a not so to do that. I'm gonna hold my hold my needle in my left hand, take my thread in my right hand, put it over the top here, and then wrap it around the needle several times, maybe 5 to 8 times, then not losing. Hold here. I want to pull that down the needle and pull my thread all the way through and then pulling tightly. What you are left with is a nice large. Not that is not going to get to go through your fabric. Okay, so I'm gonna go ahead and just start one of these circles here. It doesn't matter where I start around the edge of the circle. I've just got my not when you go in and create a couple stitches. So one thing to think about with she Bori is stitch length. For one thing, if I do my stitches to tiny something like this, maybe it might get really hard to create a resist because there's not much stopping stopping the die there. Similarly, if I decide to make huge stitches just in a straight line, that's also not going to do a lot for the resist. So I think this is a pretty good stitch length to be going with just I have long enough to make things go not terribly slowly and a small enough that you're going to get a nice resist here so we can just head around head around the circle. You also notice that I am not being very fussy about getting my stitches precisely the same length I'm going for generally the same length. It's all right. This is one of the great things about chivalry. It's like watercolor for fabric. So there is just a certain amount of flexibility that you have to have. - All right, Once I get to the end here, I just want to pull through these final stitches. You don't get a tangle and then company thread leaving a couple inches. So you have you have some work with, Then you can judge by what thread you have left. If it's worth it for another circle, or if you should just go ahead and cut a new piece. This is the stitching that will create this circle right here. So searching right here, we will gather it later on in the process. Now, to create these two, all I'm doing is adding an extra layer or two layers of stitches on the inside. So for these two circles, I will go ahead and stitch just like this. But then I will do another layer on the inside for this one and another two layers on the inside for this one. Another variable here is how close you put those roads. So here I had them about 1/4 inch apart. If I put them closer, that would be a different effect farther, again, different. So it's all just about what you are really going for here and what you want to experiment with here I have my final stitched circles so you can see how each one on top here corresponds with the final product right down below. So to add thickness, all you need to do is add extra layers of stitches, extra rows of stitches as you go farther into the circle. So for these, I did not draw extra circles as a guide. I just used my original row of stitches as as my guide as I worked farther in, and you could go all the way to the center of the circle with ease if you wanted Teoh. So go ahead and pull out your fabric and work with three circles. Again, Layout is up to you. So whatever three circles you'd like and create three different stitched circles with varying thickness 5. Parallel Lines Circle: This is the next circle we're going to stitch together. It simply involves stitching parallel lines straight across the circle fairly close together. I have my needle and thread here nodded up. If you go to the projects and resource is Tab, you confined a diagram of how this not works so you can look at it slowly if you haven't quite grasped it yet. So for this circle here, all it takes is straight lines going across the circle, and you can actually see where the stitches are on some of these rows where these white dots are, which I think is kind of interesting. I've also chosen on this one to keep my stitches about the same length and to line up with each other. And that effects how your resist is going to look in the end to. So I'm gonna go ahead here and show you a couple rows. Also, um, doesn't really matter if you start in the middle or not. If you do start in the middle, you might want some sort of straight line guide across. I'm gonna go ahead and just do that here makeshift with my scissors and I know where I'm going, - and then we go one room of stitches. So I'm also gonna leave a couple inches here to for me to work with. The tedious part here is that you will have to not and cut your thread for every single road that you dio. And that's just to make it easier once we're gathering it to get it as tight as we possibly can to help ensure a strong resist, I'm gonna go ahead. Not my fabric. Not my threat again. Something for this next row Just going to start a little ways above and I'm going to try and learn at my stitches here with the ones below. It doesn't have to be perfect, but I'd like I'd like that effect. Okay, Okay. And now that we have two threads here, you'll see they're both coming up on this side of the fabric. So I don't have one here, and then one coming out on the backside and that again is for once I gather these, I'm ready to gather them before I put them in the dye bath. They're all right here for me, and that's gonna be a lot easier to make it secure. I think I have enough thread left here to do one more row before I run out. So here I have three rows of stitches and I'm just going to continue these rose in both of these directions, going from Purple Edge to Purple Edge. So if my starting in my stop points are in line with the circle, that's how I'm going to end up with this final shape. This is the completed stitched version of this circle. You'll notice all of my knots are on one side, and all of my extra thread is on the same side of the fabric and on this side of the circle . Also, I have created this in such a way that my stitches all kind of lineup with each other, so I have rough stripes of stitches and stripes of blank space. Go ahead and choose another circle on your fabric to complete this design 6. Diagonal Lines Circle: next. This circle is created by using long diagonal stitches that go from edge to edge of the circle over and under. To create this design, I'm gonna be starting at one place on the circle and going edge to edge to edge, to edge it. Very long stitches. Until I get all the way to the other side, I'm going to start with just a small stitch here, always going down or up onto the purple line. - So here you can see on my sample stitches. We just started there to there, and you can see this also clearly on the back here gun this zigzag across the circle. Now, the thing about this design is I think it's actually easier to be gathering as you go. So I'm gonna just head back to this first stitch and pull as tightly as I can on all of these stitches. Okay, so now you can see here what I've got going on where I've stitched, it's gathered up and that kind of these lumps created in between the threads you can see here on the final design what that's going to create. These individual lines are coming from what you see right here like that is going to be an individual line of resist on the fabric. So now, as I continue along again, purple line to purple line, I can pull as tightly as I can as I go and not have to worry about backtracking. Just take your time finding finding the purple lines and making sure you're not stitching through anything you shouldn't be. So this strip here is the final stitching for this design. I think it looks a little bit like a caterpillar with all the lumps where the threat is tying it down. So I have gathered it as I stitched from here all the way up to here. And then I've already nodded this one off. We're gonna talk about nodding a little bit later on, But really, all you need to know is as long as it is as tight as it can be at a secure as it can be, it's going to be fine. Now it's your turn to go ahead and create this design. And in our next video we'll take a look at our very last circle 7. Burst Circle: Finally, this circle, which has a sort of spider Web effect here, is created by stitching once around the circle and then binding up the rest of the fabric, using the excess the red. This final design is one of my personal favorites. I find it very reliable, but it's also exciting. Withy, solid colors, the extra strips around the middle. But then the webbed texture super neat. This one starts just like our very basic circle that we did back at the beginning. So I'm gonna stitch around this final circle on my fabric just with one one row of nice Tages. I've just finished my single row of stitches around this circle, so now it's time to show you the next step. I have cut off my Neil from this threat already, but as you can see, I've left to this very, very long. So what's going to happen next is I'm going to gather this row of stitches until it's very tight and you'll see I have this extra little not left over Now. There are several options here. I could do a couple wraps around and I would end up with a circle just like my basic single rose stitch over here. But what we're going to do is dress it up just a bit more. So I'm gonna take this extra thread that I have, and I'm going to wrap it very tightly around until I've decided I've had enough. So again I could go very close to the edge here. Whatever I leave is going to end up being a dark blue center for the circle. So you can see here in the example, I left some blue probably about this much, and got something of a blue center. So I'm gonna wrap this tightly and then I'm I think I'm gonna backtrack a little bit. I want some cool lines in there. So again, just going tightly Now I'm criss crossing a little bit to bind the fabric. Okay, Once I'm happy with that. I'm gonna put my finger next to the fabric, go around there, and now I have this loop. Okay, So I'm gonna pull the extra threads through that loop and then just pull on until I can feel it's really secure. And that is a secure enough Not for this don't have to worry about it anymore. I might do one more, just to be sure I've got to there so I can cut off that and I'm all set. 8. Gathering and Knotting: So this is our sampler. So far, we've got seven circles stitched. These two in the middle are already bound and nodded up. But we still have to take care of these On the edges are last four. So let's talk about how to not like I said in a previous video. What matters is that you're not are tight and secure. At the end of the day, you're going to be cutting them out anyway. So as long as they serve you well during the die process, I don't really care how you make them. So for these ones are most basic circle. I'm gonna go ahead and pull pull this road stitches till it's tight. I want to point out here that on our example you can see with these ever so slightly some white trickling along. And that is because when I was making me is he concede especially here extra little white line, like in there, there. When I was stitching that up and nodding it, I decided that in order to not this, I was going to give myself a little bit more security and go just once around to get it tight. So just like I did in the previous video. I've got my two fingers here going around and pulling it through. So it's tight and that's secure enough there. I'm gonna let that be. I think that's a very convenient, easy thing to do. That doesn't drastically alter the effect if you really want to. Not without that. It's possible as well, and I think we'll do that here. So for this one, I am gathering Both rose at the same time, but I'm pulling each thread individually to make sure to make sure that they're both as tight as they can be. With these multiple multiple layers, it's easy to kind of gypped one, so it might not be as tight as you want it to be. So if I'm gonna not this the regular way, I'm gonna take one the right side thread. I'm gonna put that over my left. I'm gonna loop it twice, So just like I'm making a normal not gonna gonna lube it twice. Then I'm gonna take this right hand side thread and I'm gonna pulleys to, but especially pushing the left hand side down and you can actually feel there. It's going to stay put. I can let it go like this, and it's not going to come undone. Which is that handy thing about that? Sort of not. So now I can just go back and do another pull it, and I know I've got it. Cut the ends and I'll show you again on this triple layer pulling all three first. But then I'm gonna pull each one individually to make sure that that is really coming through all the way. Okay, I've got thes three. What I'm gonna do here is whereas on the to I just worked with the clumps of threat here, I'm actually gonna take one at a time, and I'm gonna split this. Here we go. So this is a little bit tricky just to make sure that you're pulling hard enough to make it secure, but not so hard that you are going to break the threats and mine. You can see it's very twisted here, so I'm actually gonna go back a little farther and see if I can fix that. Right? So just exactly what I did before, where I take right over left, lube it twice, and then I'm going to hold the right securely and pull the left down again. You might want to be a little gentler with these because you've separated your threads. But once that secure can make another not and go ahead and clip it. Our last circle to gather tightly here is our parallel lines circle. So for this one, I'm going to take to rose at a time and use those to make my regular, Not here. So again, I have to make sure, especially with these being slightly different length that I gather them both very tightly and we take right over left, and then I'm going to go over under twice. Hold the right securely, pull the left down to it. Feels very tight and secure. Go ahead and do another. Not and you're set next to rose right over left loop twice. So again, just one time more than the regular pull till it feel secure. Right? And you're just gonna want to do that all the way till you're done with the rose. This is a piece of cloth ready for the dye bath. These are my three basic circles. 12 and three. This is my spider web diagonal. Long line circle. This is my regular circle that is wrapped. And then this one is the last one. We just gathered the parallel lines circle. So if you have any more stitching or gathering or nodding to do, pause here and finish that up so that your piece of cloth looks something like this. 9. Dyeing: so we've reached the big moment. It's time to die your fabric on my table. Here I have my wooden yardstick for stirring the fabric. In my divests, I have a plastic shoebox for in between dips. My seam ripper and scissors are on hand. This plastic cover is protecting my surface. I also have these blue plastic loves. They're very cheap, but they're definitely worth it. Some guys stay on skin longer than others, and indigo dye is one of those. So it's worth protecting your hands so they don't end up blue or bluish gray for several days or longer after you're done with this process. Last but certainly not least, I have my five gallon bucket here with in to go all ready. So just follow the instructions on your diet kitsch, prepared your dive math and make sure you give it enough time to sit and and stir. So there are two ways to put your fabric into a dive bath. What and dry what is generally considered a good idea If you're hoping for the dying, too, be able to move around on your fabric very easily because, however, with chivalry, we're creating a resist and I actually don't want that guy to get in certain areas. I a lot of times, but my fabric and dry that means that maybe I'm a little more conscious about stirring it while it's in the vat. But we'll talk about some of the differences later how that can affect things for this example that I did for our class, I put in the solid part. So this area down here, I put that in wet, and I left the rest of it dry. I've tried others where I've done the whole thing wet and on the whole thing dry. I don't think at the end of the day, it makes a big enough difference for you to really worry about it. But it's an interesting thing to think about an experiment with. So I'm gonna go ahead and plop this into the dye death. I want to do this slowly enough so I'm not really disturbing the dive bath itself. One thing about indigo is that oxygen should not be in the dive death, so I'm going to stir it in a gently enough way that I am not creating too many air bubbles on the surface. and I just want to be really gentle, stirring it around. I find that 5 to 8 minutes tends to be a good time for one dip. Multiple dips will make you have a darker into go color. Once your cloth has been in the dye bath for five minutes with pretty consistent stirring, it's time to take it out. So I'm just gonna pull it up with my ruler and then reached in if you let it drip for a minute over the raft and you'll notice if you're using indigo right away, that it's green. So I'm just gonna lay this into my plastic container here, So let's sit. So here we've got a closer view of this and you can see here. It's already turning blue and very, very quickly. But when I pulled it out of the dye bath, it was actually a bright green. So this is kind of a fabulous thing about in video. It needs to come into contact with oxygen in order to turn blue. So the process that we're going through here is called. We're letting the fabric oxidize, so turn from green to blue. I'm not gonna put it back in the dye vats until it has all the way turned to blue. So we're at another waiting stage here. I'm gonna leave this in its bucket until I can see clearly that there aren't any more green areas. Once it's blue, it will be ready to go back in for another dip. Well, my fabric is oxidizing in the shoebox. I just wanted to point out to variations for you. Think about as you die your own fabric. So, as I mentioned here, I put the solid part of this family into the dye Mattias wet. My goal was to have a solid area be a smooth as possible Nice, clean, perfect into go help ever, if you would rather and texture to your fabric. That is also a perfectly valid option. This is another piece that I died that has a lot more texture, even on the solid part, and that can come from two different things. First, it can come from not stirring it quite as much. Well is in the dive math. But the other thing that I think is a little more important is that you might not let it oxidize all the way. So If you look at the fabric in in the shoebox, I can see little patches of green still on here. If I put it back in now, those little green pash is might stay a TV it lighter than the rest of the fabric, and I'll end up with this need to texture. So if you're trying to show off your die skills to someone else, you want to go for the smoothest, most beautiful color that you possibly can. But you can also make the artistic choice to put it back into early or too stirred a little less and get some neat texture in there. It's up to you is just about what you are going for as an artist. And with that, I think this is about time to put life fabric back into my diet bath for dick number two. So again, I'm just gonna ease it in there gently, and I'm going to do one more five minute dip today, so this fabric has come out of the dye bath after a second dip, and it's almost done oxidizing here, so I'm gonna go ahead and cut out my stitches. So just a reminder. If you want a really nice dark indigo You're gonna want to go for three dips, probably, but I'm going to just stop it at two today, So I'm gonna go ahead and use my seam ripper to start getting at getting at these threads. The really important thing to remember when you're cutting out your thread is simply that you need to be careful if you go for a big job with your seem ripper and end up ripping your fabric and not just the thread that be really sad. So you're going to have to be aggressive because these threads air tight. But you're gonna also have to be very careful because you only want to get the thread and not the rest of it. So just be patient with this process. Take your time, keep your gloves on. And it's, uh, really exciting to see what we're seeing right here, which is the beginning of the design. You can see that green still and even some white where the diet totally did not get to, and it's okay to pull a little bit. And then as you meet with resistance, go ahead and snips amore threads. Here we go. There's my first, my first serval Clowe. Very happy with this. So the green is gonna turn blue eventually. And then once I'm done, I'm gonna go back and pick out all these other threats. So just go ahead and do that with yours again. Carefully, slowly. And once you are finished, take it to a saint and rinse it out in cold water until the water runs clear. 10. Conclusion: thanks so much for Washington class everyone. This is my final project that I created as I was filming this class for you. I'm really happy with how it turned out, like the tone, like the detail. But I was able to get every project is a little bit of a surprise when you pull it out. Should worry is like watercolor for cavers. Thank you so much for watching this. If you enjoyed it, tell a friend about it. But most importantly, don't forget to post a photo of your completed project down below in the student project section. I'd love to see what you've created so long.