Ita­jime Shi­bori

Chic & Country - - Contents -

Ita­jime Shi­bori is an an­cient Ja­panese tech­nique of dec­o­ra­tion that con­sists of pleat­ing, fold­ing, clamp­ing and dye­ing fabric (in this case, cot­ton) and it can be used to cre­ate lovely re­peat pat­terns. You can ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent den­si­ties of dye and dif­fer­ent fold­ing pat­terns.

Try tak­ing the pleated strip of fabric and fold­ing it into a se­ries of tri­an­gles or squares each stacked on top of the oth­ers.


White cot­ton fabric

Dye for cold process Two large glass or plas­tic con­tain­ers

Rub­ber gloves

Wooden spat­ula

2 equal pieces of wood or stain­less steel

Pa­per clips

How to make it

Cut two pieces of cot­ton about 42 x 30 cm and pleat them, ac­cor­dion style, press­ing them as you go. They should end up re­sem­bling a fan. If you are go­ing to make tri­an­gles or squares of your pleated fabric, make sure you are care­ful and cre­ate a neat stack, oth­er­wise you will get an un­even re­sult. Then place the folded fabric be­tween two equal pieces of wood or stain­less steel and clamp it tightly with a clip. Dip the fabric in a bowl of cold wa­ter while pre­par­ing the dye bath (made by adding a few drops of dye to cold wa­ter). Then dip the fabric into the bath and stir con­stantly so that the fabric is im­preg­nated. Re­move the fabric from the bath pe­ri­od­i­cally, de­pend­ing what strength you wish to achieve. Re­move the clamp and the wooden/stain­less steel pieces care­fully. Rinse the fabric sev­eral times in plenty of cold wa­ter. Let the fab­rics dry in the shade. Be­fore us­ing them, iron them, with steam, and re­mem­ber to iron them on the re­verse to fix the colour.

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