A great many moons ago I wrote an article for HGTV about a particular trend I foresaw just on the horizon and ready to emerge for mainstream worship. Sure enough, that beauty has come forth as the new 'it' girl in town and is quite frankly all the rage. And well… I think that is just peachy because when the crafty-folk jump on board with a new handicraft, we are all that much the better for it and the tutorials begin to trickle down with amazing varieties and many different takes on something so positively fabulous. So to celebrate these little DIY victories, I think we should round up some of the standout examples of a few of these incredible works of art and marvel at the amazing wealth of creativity right at our fingertips. To help us navigate the interwebs and find some of these notable projects, I have brought my sweet friend Heidi on board! I think you will like what she has in store for us… exciting times my friends! Xx… Rayan
Hi all! It’s Heidi again, from Brave, Wild & Free, I am ecstatic that I get to drop by to talk about the latest design trends and how you can incorporate them into your personal style. I love poking around on design blogs and creative sites to see what amazing, new things the artisans and designers in this business are cooking up. And I hope to gather together a few of them and bring them straight to you so you can try them on for size.
So let’s get right to the good stuff. And by good stuff, of course I mean shibori. This Japanese indigo dyeing technique has made quite a huge impact on fashion and home design this year. You fold and tie fabric in a variety of ways to create different patterns. It’s bohemian, edgy, traditional and ethnic…all in one – which I think is one of the main draws of this trend. It can fit in to just about any type of design concept. And the great thing about shibori is that it’s so accessible. Just grab a cloth or piece of clothing and a box of dye and go to town…
Traditionally, shibori is made with indigo, creating bright blue patterns. Wanting a more muted palette, Rachel from mrbluesky used a silver gray dye to create a custom upholstered headboard for her bed. She also has fantastic images of tea towels, tote bags and napkins she made using the shibori technique.
When you dye with indigo, your fabric actually turns a bright green first. Then, when the indigo hits the air, it begins to turn a vibrant blue. The Free People blog shows this process brilliantly, and it kind of makes me wish it stayed the neon green color in their photos. They also show how to shibori-up your ordinary white clothing (like the beautiful scarf pictured above that I am desperately in love with). And yes, I just said “shibori up”. I’m not sure that’s an actual phrase, but it is now.
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Over at Design*Sponge, they have a fantastic step-by-step tutorial showing the details of four basic ways to fold and bind the fabric. They show the traditional indigo dyeing methods in a very clear and concise way (because they are Design*Sponge and thus are fantastic). I think their fan fold is my favorite.
Rachel at Smile and Wave (who has great hair, by the way) tried shibori with regular blue dyes from the craft store. Sometimes indigo is hard to get your hands on, and Rachel shows us how to use the ancient technique with the modern convenience of bottled blue dye. Plus, she did this project with her daughter and it looks super kid friendly.
Maura Grace Ambrose, the amazingly talented textile artist from Folk Fibers, shows even more binding designs – complete with correct technique names, origins and explanations. Knowing the traditional names somehow makes me feel more connected with the history of the process, which I love, and the designs she makes blow my mind.
The folks at Kinfolk, who excel at everything authentic and beautiful, show the technical and traditional way to create the amazing Japanese designs with your binding and folding. While HonestlyWTF has detailed step-by-step directions, with fantastic pictures of the process. If you are trying shibori for the first time and are a little unsure of the process – start here.
I hope these links inspire you to go out and shibori-up something of your own. And I hope you use the term “shibori up”. I want that to phrase catch on!
See you guys next time, and if you have some other fantastic resources for shibori tutorials and projects, we would love to see, so please post links in the comments if you like!