DIY projects

4 creative projects that celebrate shibori

The ancient art of Japanese fabric dying is used in four creative ways by stylist Catherine Wilkinson


Framed artwork

Cut a piece of untreated cotton to fit inside a frame so edges are visible. Tie a rubber band around a small bunch of fabric in the centre, then continue to tie bands around the rest of the fabric, 4cm apart, creating a long sausage. Dye according to packet instructions. Allow to dry. Stick fabric inside frame with double-sided tape.



The coolest cushion

Cut a piece of untreated cotton into desired cushion size. Wet fabric and wring out. Concertina fold lengthwise to make strip 8cm-wide. Take hold of a corner of the entire strip and fold all of it over to create a triangle, flip over and repeat on other side. Flip over and repeat. Continue until you have a single triangular piece of folded fabric. Secure with rubber band and dye according to packet instructions. Once dry, iron flat and sew into a cushion cover.



Trippy tea towels

Cut length of untreated cotton into tea-towel sizes. Wet and wring out fabric. Create patterns above using three methods. 1) Tie fabric randomly in bunches using rubber bands. 2) Tie rubber band in centre, then tie bands 4cm apart along rest of fabric, forming long sausage. 3) Fold fabric lengthways in a concertina 7cm wide. Roll it up from short end and secure with 2 rubber bands. Dye according to packet instructions. Sew edges when dry.



Nice napkins

Follow method 3 for tea towels (above) but use a smaller piece of cotton. Dye according to packet instructions. When dry, sew edges. TIP Each dye pattern is unique. The beauty of shibori is that there are no mistakes.

Photography by: Wendy Fenwick.