Shibori made my pillow dye

Shibori is a Japanese technique to dye materials, the concept is simple but to excel in it, it is another level, reallySo if you like to press, stitch, fold and twist materials and magic then the Shibori methods of dying are for you! I found a pretty simple little tutorial about the Shibori methods here.   

What you need is rubber gloves (the dye is quite nasty to your skin and very poisonous so keep an eye on the little ones that could find the colour attractive), rubber bands (you can use anything you want depending what pattern you want to get, see here), dye (generally they use blue), salt, cotton fabric (I used unbleached cotton), I bought 2×2 m of fabric which gives enough fabric for at least 3 good size pillows (50×50 cm) and 2 small ones. To make the pillow cases, I followed a little french tutorial but you do not need to speak french to understand it (it is actually very easy to make a pillow case with no zip). DSCF0018

I chose to make the circular pattern so the only thing you have to do is to tie up mini bubbles of fabric with your rubber bands (I used all sort of rubber bands ).

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DSCF0022Then you soak your blank canvas in luke warm water for say, 5 minutes. This stage is actually quite important as it will slow down the bleeding process. If you do not soak your material prior dyeing, you will have less definition and a more uniform colour through your fabric.

DSCF0029When my fabric was wet, I started the process of dying (dye mix with salt in luck warm water). I left my fabric in the water with the mixture dye/salt for 15 minutes, turning each sides every 5 minutes. Do not let the material touch the bottom of your container as the sediments will mark the fabric in an unwanted pattern.

DSCF0034When the 15 minutes was over, I took the fabric out of the dye and left it on a old and crappy towel to bleed a for another15 minutes before washing the fabric in cold water. Then when it was done, I took my rubber bands off. And this is what I got!

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and that, by just tying knots in the fabric!

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Then I made the pillow cases following the little french tutorial. And this is what I had at the end of my dyeing and simple sewing:

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This was an interesting adventure, I learned a lot so I do not regret it! However, I have to say that PINK is not my colour of choice. As I’m more an earthy, black, deep red,  yellow, orange kind of girl. I made the mistake on going wild by not taking blue (because I don’t like blue either). So I realised quite quickly that I will never have a blood red colour dying my fabric that way! So if you are not a pink fan, just use another colour. I think darker colours would work better like blue, black, green… There is room for improvement! So for next time, I will avoid RED and I will use more complex patterns such as the ones shown in this other tutorial.  So until next time ! Happy dying !

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