This easy kumo dyeing tutorial takes the mystery out of this interesting shibori technique
Gosh, I love playing with colors. I always have! And exploring the many various cloth, fiber and yarn dyeing techniques is a neverending fascination for me.
Enter Shibori Dyeing which is an age-old art of fabric dyeing which includes many various stitching and folding techniques, including Kumo Shibori Dyeing.
What is Shibori Dyeing?
So, what the heck does Shibori mean anyway? It is an ancient Japanese way of dyeing cloth that involves not only folding but also, in some cases stitching which creates a resist.
Traditional Shibori was created with blue Indigo dyes but these days dye artists create their pieces with a rainbow of different colors.
According to Wiki:
“There are an infinite number of ways one can bind, stitch, fold, twist, or compress cloth for Shibori, and each way results in very different patterns.
Each method is used to achieve a certain result, but each method is also used to work in harmony with the type of cloth used. Therefore, the technique used in shibori depends not only on the desired pattern, but the characteristics of the cloth being dyed.
Also, different techniques can be used in conjunction with one another to achieve even more elaborate results.”
- 100% Silk Scarf *
- Jacquard Acid Dye *
- Rubber Bands or Synthetic Thread
- Pot or Pan (no longer used for food) **
- Stove or Hot Plate
- Old Measuring Cups
- Plastic spoons
- Dust Mask
* Notes on supplies:
Kumo Shibori dyeing does not require that you use silk fabric, any fabric will do. Just make sure and match the type of dye to the fiber content.
Example: for silk, wool and other protein fibers you will use Acid Dyes. For cotton, bamboo, linen and other cellulose fiber, you will need Fiber Reactive Dyes.
** Dyeing Safety
Any and all equipment such as pots and pans, measuring spoons or cups, etc. that you use for dyeing are no longer safe to use for food preparation!
If you plan on doing several fabric dye projects, I recommend a trip to your local thrift store where you can pick up old pots and pans for just a few dollar.
Get the Free Guide!
Dyeing Fabric with Fiber Reactive Dyes
GRAB MY FREE GUIDE!
Download this free ebook and get occasional updates
Basic steps of Kumo Dyeing
Pre-treat the fabric
In order for your silk scarf to take up the dye properly, you will need to soak it in vinegar first. To do this, place your silk scarf in a cup or two of warm white vinegar and let it soak for about 30 minutes. This will also help to set the dye and keep it from washing out.
Fold and tie the scarf
Now, remove the scarf from the vinegar bath and squeeze out any excess liquid. Place it on a table and then fold it in half lengthwise and fold it again.
Now take your fingers, pinch a random area of the scarf (all 4 layers), pull it up and tightly tie either a rubber band or the string around it in spiral fashion. Repeat this in one or two more spots, depending on the size of your silk.
Apply the dye
Now you will prepare your dye. Place the dust mask on your face and then mix your dye powder according to package directions. Usually, I start with 1/2 teaspoon of dye per 1 cup of warm water. (Add the water to the dye, not the other way around)
Take your cook pot and add enough warm water to cover your tied scarf. Next you will add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your dye liquid and stir to combine.
Place the scarf in the dyebath and gently move it around. Let it sit and absorb the dye for about 30 minutes.
Place the pot on your stove or hot plate and turn the heat to Medium. Bring the dye to just below a simmer and leave it there for about about 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool.
Once cool, carefully remove the scarf from the dyebath, untie the rubber bands or string and then rinse your scarf in warm water until the water runs clear.
There you have it! A beautiful, one-of-a-kind, hand dyed Silk Scarf. These are so fun to create and also make wonderful homemade gift ideas for Christmas or Birthdays.
Stay tuned…. there are lots more Shibori Dyeing techniques to explore!
What are some other Shibori techniques?
There are several different methods including the following:
- Arashi aka Pole Dyeing where fabric is wrapped around a pole, tied and scrunched
- Itajime involves folding the fabric and clamping it between pieces of wood
- Nui Shibori uses stitching to create a resist and pattern
Related Fabric Dyeing Tutorials
- Dyeing with Fiber Reactive Dyes
- Reverse Tie Dye Patterns
- How to Ice Dye on Cotton
- Shibori Dyeing Tea Towels with Rit Dye
- Exploring Shibori: Kumo Fabric Dyeing
- Reverse Tie Dyeing with Bleach
- Marble Dyeing Silk Scarves
- How to Tie Dye a Heart Shape
- Printing on Fabric with Silk Ties
- Eco Printing on Fabric