Shibori Dyeing at the Brooklyn Craft Company

Posted on | April 15, 2015 | 1 Comment

A few weekends back, I took a really fun Shibori dyeing class at the Brooklyn Craft Company in Greenpoint. Shibori is a Japanese resist dyeing technique traditionally done with indigo dye. I’ve wanted to try Shibori dyeing for awhile, but living in a small apartment isn’t really the best place to experiment!

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This particular class was an introduction to the technique. We explored folding the fabric into rectangle and triangle shapes using acrylic blocks as a resist, binding the fabric with rubber bands to make circular patterns, and using a pole to wrap and scrunch the fabric around. For the dye, we used a crystalized indigo dye that is a little (a lot) easier to prepare than a traditional dye bath. It’s so much fun dyeing with indigo. When you take the piece out of the dye bath, it’s actually green. As the dye is exposed to the air, it’s begins to turn to a deep blue right before your eyes!

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I was surprised by how well the resist blocks kept the dye out. At first, I was a little disappointed that the fabric didn’t take up more color, but the results grew on me. The beauty of Shibori dyeing is the unexpected results. For my next few pieces, I experimented with leaving more fabric exposed and wrapping the rubber bands a little looser. The results all varied, but being able to freely experiment without fear of messing up was freeing.

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My favorite piece from the day was created by simply wrapping rubber bands around sections of the fabric. I have to say though, taking all of the rubber bands out gave me quite a workout!

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I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all of this beautiful cloth I dyed. It’s too pretty to just let it hide in a closet! The pieces are only large enough for something smaller, maybe a pillow or a bento bag for my knitting projects? Any ideas?

If you’re interested in taking the Shibori class, I believe the Brooklyn Craft Company will be offering it again on May 2nd. It’s a fun way to spend a day getting your hands dirty!

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  • Ginger

    Wow! These pieces are all so beautiful! Shibori is such a cool technique and is so much fun to try!