Tag Archives: nui shibori

Indigo Shibori Scarves 2017

Italian Linen

This beautiful lightweight linen was purchased in Venice, Italy this spring. I only bought enough to make three scarves. This is the only one left! Linen has a lovely drape and is perfect for the summer. I love the dramatic lines in this scarf.


This pole wrapped scarf is a gorgeous satin back crepe. It has a lovely sheen and weight. It drapes beautifully. I wish you could feel it!

The next two scarves are dyed using a lighter weight silk, equally soft and luxurious.


Once the linen/rayon fabric was washed in preparation for the dyeing process, soft crinkle folds appeared. I love the texture. These scarves are easy to wear and travel very well. This Itajime shibori design was first dyed in a soft blue before being dipped in indigo.

Italian Cotton Gauze

This soft as a cloud cotton gauze was also purchased in Italy. While in Verona, I found a fabric shop that had a beautiful selection including some designer fabrics.


The scarf below surprised me when I unwrapped it. I first dyed the cotton gauze in a very pastel turquoise. I folded the fabric and used a metal switch plate as the resist. It was dipped in the indigo dye bath. Once it was unwrapped pink areas were visible, but no pink dye had been used! I am guessing that the metal switch plate reacted to the indigo. I thought that the pink would eventually fade away but it hasn’t and won’t. This scarf has been washed, dried and pressed with no change to the pink. I like it even though it wasn’t planned. Do any of you have an explanation for the pink?

All of my scarves have fringed edges and are machine washable. The Italian cotton gauze scarves and the linen/rayon crinkly scarves are available for $40.00 each. The silk scarves are available for $50.00 each and the last Italian linen scarf for $60.00.

How I wish my laundry line always looks!


Silk Scarf Workshop at Amy’s Handmade Place

A group of creative women gathered together on Sunday at Amy’s Handmade Place to make their own hand dyeing silk scarves. Peggy (@peggythompson) listened attentively while I showed examples.

I demonstrated how to fold scarves to create different shibori designs. These pictures show glimpses of Amy’s beautiful studio space, located in the back of her shop: Amy’s Handmade Place. There is even a small deck outside the back where we enjoyed showing off our scarves.

Wendy (Pook & Thy) mixing up the dyes – turquoise and fuchsia for her scarf.

Scarves were rinsed but not yet washed and dried. They couldn’t resist showing off their handiwork!

Washed, and ironed. Lovely and soft. It was a fun day showing these eager students how to dye silk scarves.

Ginnie, Peggy and Amy wearing their very stylish scarves.

Amy and I in her store, can you see another one of my hand dyed scarves in the background?

There is another workshop scheduled for June 11th,  join us!


Silk Scarf Dyeing: an Artisanal Workshop

I am very happy to be teaching two afternoon workshops at Amy’s Place Handmade at 155 Main Street, Toronto, Ontario. Working in a sunny, bright studio, we will be dyeing a one-of-a-kind beautiful silk scarf. The dates are Sunday May 28, 2017 and Sunday June 11, 2017 from 12-3.

Artisan workshop silk scarf dyeing poster

The Process

Step 1: Folding, twisting and preparing scarf.

Scarves folded ready for dyeing

Step 2: Applying dye

scarves folded and dyed

Step 3: Rinsing and washing scarf

scarf folded and rinsed

Step 4: Admiring scarf!

scarf washed and pressed

Below are a few scarves I have dyed using very simple techniques that create beautiful textures and designs.

blue green shibori scarf

orange brown shibori scarf

red arashi shibori scarf

I hope that you will join me at Amy’s Place Handmade. Take a few hours for yourself to learn a new technique, make some new friends, have some fun and go home wearing your own original silk scarf.

Artisan workshop silk scarf dyeing instagram

See you there!


Indigo dyeing Fall 2016

I was hoping to squeeze in one last weekend of dyeing and was lucky to have a beautiful day this past weekend, to set up an indigo dye pot.


Arashi and nui shibori

I had some pfd fabric that I wanted to dip in the pot, as well as some scarves that I wanted to over dye.

Sushi and itajime shibori

Sushi and itajime shibori

I tried one new technique: sushi shibori. The fabric is fan folded and then rolled up like a sushi roll, wrapped with elastic bands or string.

Itajime scarves and quilting cotton

Itajime scarves and quilting cotton

Three scarves and one metre of pfd cotton folded and clamped.

Linen napkins and quilting cotton wrapped and bound - itajmie shibori

Linen napkins and quilting cotton wrapped and bound – itajime shibori

I made two sets of linen napkins: four are cocktail sized and four are generous dinner sized napkins in a light beige colour. I use all sorts of items as a resist including canning lids, paint stir sticks, plastic electrical wall plates, elastic bands, and pieces of wood.

Scarves to be overdyed

Scarves to be over over dyed

I had a few scarves that I had dyed but wasn’t happy with the way they turned out. Two of them were rayon but they didn’t absorb the dye very well and turned out very pastel. The green in the lower right was dip dyed in green and yellow dye baths but the result was not very interesting. The shawl on the left was dip dyed in blue and it was boring as well. All of these were destined to be re-dyed. I am looking forward to seeing the results.

Indigo bundles and fabric drying

Indigo bundles and fabric drying

It was a beautiful, sunny warm day and I set my work area outside. The drying rack is loaded with some of the dyeing.

Indigo yardage

Indigo yardage

I hung some of the fabrics from some low hanging branches in between dips.

Indigo yardage and overdyed scarf

Indigo yardage and over dyed scarf

The cotton yardage is still wet in the photo above and is darker than when it is dry. The green strip is one of the scarves I over dyed. It already looks much better than before!

Indigo scarves and yardage

Indigo scarves and yardage

I wanted to speed up the oxidation and drying process, so I carefully unfolded some of the clamped pieces and suspended them from low hanging branches. I am still waiting for some of the wrapped arashi shibori pieces to dry.

Indigo arashi cotton fabric

Indigo arashi cotton fabric

Last night I carefully unwrapped the damp fabric from one of the pvc pipes. I love the texture of cotton. I hope that the deep blue colour remains after it is washed. There are still a few pieces I haven’t unfolded, maybe next week.

Some Kind of Blue – President’s challenge 2016

My quilt for the Yorkshire Rose Quilter’s Guild of Toronto president’s challenge is a reference to the best-selling jazz record recorded by Miles Davis: Kind of Blue.

Previewing indigo fabrics for the president's challenge

Previewing indigo fabrics for the president’s challenge

This year, the president asked the members to create a 12 x 12 inch quilt based on a song or song title. The quilt could be made with any technique, with or without embellishments. I pieced the top using my hand dyed indigo fabrics.

President's challenge quilt top: pieced

President’s challenge quilt top: pieced

The nui shibori strips were fussy cut from a piece of indigo linen that I dyed in the summer, while the rest is cotton. I added a hint of gold to reference the trumpet that Miles Davis plays.

Some Kind of Blue - detail

Some Kind of Blue

The quilt top was heavily quilted with straight lines using a walking foot.

YRQGPresident's challenge detail 2016

Some Kind of Blue – detail

Kind of Blue is a great album that contains a couple of songs with blue in the title including: Blue in Green and All blues.  What’s your favourite song?

Snow dyed Shibori cotton scarves and Mandala

I dyed two cotton gauze scarves and one piece of pfd cotton at the same time. This is the last batch of snow dyed fabric for winter 2016!

Snow dyed Arashi Shibori scarf

Snow dyed Arashi Shibori scarf

My favourite Shibori technique is Arashi – where the fabric is wrapped around a pole, scrunched down and the dye applied. I wanted to try this technique in combination with the unpredictability of snow dyeing. I was very surprised and pleased with the results.

Snow dyed Arashi Shibori scarf

Snow dyed Arashi Shibori scarf

There is a lovely pattern on the gauze scarf created by the resist that looks feathers.

Snow dyed Nui Shibori scarf

Snow dyed Nui Shibori scarf

The other gauze scarf was loosely pleated along the length, twisted tightly and placed in the same tray. This scarf has more variation in colours where the red, yellow and blue dyes combined to make green, orange and browns.

Snow dyed Nui Shibori scarf

Snow dyed Nui Shibori scarf

The last piece I dyed was a metre of cotton folded into a wedge to create a beautiful Mandala.

Snow dyed tropical mandala

Snow dyed tropical mandala

This is a very vibrant piece that reminds me of a luscious slice of an exotic tropical fruit!


Results of Snow Dyeing

The snow dyed fabric looked a very dark before it was rinsed. I could see some purple and a little blue, but mostly it looked grey and black.

snow dyeing purple pre rinse

Shibori folded fabrics ready to rinse

After, the fabric was washed, the vibrant colours and stunning patterns were revealed. It’s always a surprise to see the washed results of snow dyeing, you can’t predict the colour or the design.

Snow dyeing purple square fold

Itajime Shibori snow dyed square fold

I love the piece below, it looks like you are looking through a leaded glass window!

Itajime Shibori triangle fold

Itajime Shibori triangle fold snow dyed

My most incredible piece of snow dyed fabric is the mandala shape below. A metre of fabric was folded into a wedge shape and the melting snow created this magical mandala!

Snow dyeing purple mandala

Snow dyed mandala

I dyed a few more pieces of fabric before the rain fell and melted all the snow. I will rinse and iron those fabrics and have them ready next week. I wonder if we will get more snow soon? I think I’ve found a new addiction!


Snow dyeing with Procion MX fabric dye

This is what it looked like in the corner of our backyard yesterday. A very light snow fell consistently throughout the day, prompting me to do some snow dyeing!

Snowfall February 2016

Snowfall February 2016

The fresh snow was perfect for dyeing fabric with Procion MX dyes. Vicki Welsh of Field Trips in Fiber recently posted tips on snow dyeing. She achieved some very beautiful results. I especially loved the mandalas shapes that she created.

Snow on branches

Snow on branches

I have done some snow dyeing in the past and have been happy with the results. What I haven’t tried is dyeing fabric using Shibori techniques to create mandala designs. I folded a one metre cut of fabric into a wedge and then refolded it into a rectangle.

Shibori folded fabrics ready to dye

Shibori folded fabrics ready to dye

The other two white pieces of fabric are fat quarters accordion folded into: a triangle and square. I used Nui Shibori on the olive fabric, creating a row of diamond and a row of circles, the rest is scrunched up. The fabrics were soaked in soda ash, wrung out and arranged in a plastic tub that I poked holes into for drainage.

Fabric covered with snow

Fabric covered with snow

I went outside and packed snow on top of the fabrics, piling up about four inches or so. I placed the plastic tub into another tub to catch the melted snow.  I layered a few plastic yogurt lids underneath so that the perforated tub would sit above the melted snow.

Dye covered snow

Dye covered snow

I mixed three colours of dye: black, cerulean blue, and fuchsia and randomly poured the dye concentrate over the top of the snow. The entire project was placed safely into the laundry tub overnight. I expect that all the snow will have melted by the end of my work day today. I can’t wait to see the results!


Indigo velvet Shibori

This silk velvet is one of the pieces I dyed in the Indigo workshop I took in the spring at the Colour Vie Studio with Pam Woodward. I had purchased a one yard piece of silk velvet and was saving it for just the right project. On the second day of the workshop I brought it in.

Indigo velvet

Indigo velvet

The silk velvet absorbed the indigo beautifully. The piece is a rich, deep blue. I love this piece – it is gorgeous.

Indigo velvet detail

Indigo velvet detail

My idea is to make a beautiful shawl, with a contrasting lining. I still have to find the right fabric for the lining. When I do, I am thinking of dyeing it a luscious fuschia. What colour would you choose?


Red Shibori scarves

It’s interesting how different these two red Shibori scarves look when they both started off in the same dye bath.

Red Nui Shibori cotton gauze

Red Nui Shibori cotton gauze

The design is very subtle on this scarf, giving it a delicate look.

Red Nui Shibori cotton gauze

Red Nui Shibori cotton gauze

More rows of stitching would make this design more defined and graphic. I will be experimenting with this on another piece.

Red Nui Shibori cotton gauze

Red Nui Shibori cotton gauze

The scarf below was dyed in the same red dye bath and then pole wrapped and dipped in black to create a very striking design.

Red and black Arashi Shibori cotton gauze

Red and black Arashi Shibori cotton gauze

An intense black colour is difficult to achieve. I doubled the amount of dye powder and left the scarf in longer. In some areas of the scarf the black looks more like a very dark purple.

Red and black Arashi Shibori cotton gauze

Red and black Arashi Shibori cotton gauze

When I first began dyeing, I mixed red and blue dyes to create purple as you would when mixing paint. I did get a purple but it was very grapey! not really what I had intended. By mixing red with a small amount of black dye a deep rich royal purple is obtained.

Red and black Arashi Shibori cotton gauze

Red and black Arashi Shibori cotton gauze

I have a few more hand dyed scarves to show you next time.