Exploring Shibori – Kumo Fabric Dyeing

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Gosh, I love playing with colors. Always have! And exploring the many various cloth, fiber and yarn dyeing techniques is a neverending fascination for me. Shibori Dyeing is an age-old art of fabric dyeing which includes many various folding techniques, including Kumo Dyeing.

Shibori Fabric Dyeing, a FiberArtsy.com Tutorial

So, what is Shibori Dyeing anyway? Shibori is really what tie-dyeing is based on. Here’s what Wiki says:

“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.”

Here’s my version of dyeing a silk scarf with the Kumo Shibori method which involves pleating and binding.

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Supplies Needed:

Silk Scarf
Jacquard Acid Dye
-Synthetic Thread or Unwaxed Dental Floss

For Setting the Dye you need:

-Pot or Pan (not used for food)
-Stove or Hot Plate


Warm up a cup or two of vinegar and soak your silk scarf for about 30 minutes. This will help set the dye.

Folding & Tying:

Take the scarf out of the vinegar bath and squeeze out excess liquid. Now, fold it in half lengthwise and then fold it again.

Pull up a random area of the scarf (all 4 layers) and tightly tie the string around it in spiral fashion. Repeat in one or two more spots, depending on the size of your silk.

Shibori Kumo Dyeing, Fiberartsy.com

Shibori Kumo Dyeing, Fiberartsy.com

Shibori Kumo Dyeing, Fiberartsy.com


Mix up your dye according to package directions. Put some warm water in the pot, then add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the liquid dye. Place the scarf in the dyebath and gently move it around to cover each part. Let it sit and absorb the dye for about 30 minutes.

Shibori Kumo Dyeing, Fiberartsy.com

Turn the heat to Medium until it just starts to simmer, then heat for about 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and carefully remove the scarf. Untie and rinse well with warm water.

Shibori Dyeing Tutorial, Fiberartsy.com

There you have it! A beautiful, one-of-a-kind Silk Scarf. Shibori dyed Silk Scarves make a wonderful homemade gift idea for Christmas or Birthdays.

Stay tuned…. there are lots more Shibori Dyeing techniques to explore!

Related Fabric Dyeing Tutorials

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

Related Natural Dyeing Tutorials

Natural Dyeing with Black Beans
Natural Dye from Plants: Dandelions
How to Eco Print on Paper
Natural Dyeing with Black Walnuts

If you want more dyeing fun, check out these books on Shibori Dyeing:

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  1. I love how this turned out! It is always helpful to have directions with tie-dying so you don’t get a weird colored mess.

    • Absolutely. I’m experimenting with several colors now which is obviously more challenging. Stay tuned for updates!

  2. That looks like something easy to do.. and the after product is very cool!


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