Posted on

Design your own shibori patterns at home (For beginners!)

History of indigo dyeing

Ai-zome (藍染) is a vibrant blue dye that is made from the leaves of Japanese indigo plant, Ai (藍). It has a long history, beginning in the Nara period (710-794), and it’s been one of the signature colours representing Japan. You can find indigo blue in the official logo of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

All You’ll Need

  1. Yamato Indigo
  2. Things you want to dye (Cotton, linen, silk, leather, and even paper!)
  3. Water (2L)
  4. Buckets
  5. Rubber gloves
  6. Rubber bands


step1. Wet the item you want to dye and squeeze it. That makes it easier for the dye to get into the item.

step2. Add Yamato Indigo to water and mix them well.

The amount of Yamato indigo that you’ll need is 5% of your item weight. Such as…

A large T-shirt (300g): 15g

A medium T-shirt (250g): 12.5g

A pair of socks (70g): 3.5g

A leather wallet (500g): 25g

Now you are ready for fun and easy shibori patterns! Here are 3 patterns to begin with. 

1. Polka dot (Repeated dots)

Step 1. Bunch up a small wad of the item anywhere on your larger fabric piece, and place a rubber band around it. The areas covered by the rubber bands will create small, abstract rings of white! 

(If you would like the ring to be more precise, place super boll or river rock and bind with a rubber band. )

Step 2. Repeat this in sections for an all-over pattern.

Step 3. Soak the item into the dye bath for 3 min and occasionally take it out from the dye bath for oxidation. 

Step 4. Repeat step 3 until the item gets your item colour depth.

Step 5. Unbind rubber bands and rinse with water to remove any excess dye.

Step 6. Mix 50cc of regular vinegar per 1L of water. Dip the item for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with clear water and let the item dry completely!

2. Square 

*you need two square plates to make this pattern.

Step 1. Fold the item lengthwise to form a rectangle.

Step 2. Fold the item in again to form a square.

Step 3. Sandwich the folded item between two square plates and bind it together with rubber bands. Then repeat step 4-6 in polka dot section.

3. Tie-dye Shibori 

The kind of simple beauty. You don’t use anything, not even rubber bands!

Step 1. Twist the item and tie itself

Step 2. Repeat step3-6 in polka dot section.

Hope you’ll enjoy indigo dyeing using your creativity! 

There are many more different ways to create wonderful designs that we’re sharing… keep posted!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *