Supply List: Indigo Dyeing with Judy Gula .... Creating Shibori Stitched Resists

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Vat dyeing with indigo at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA

Create a range of indigo-dyed fabrics to use in your art, garments and quilting, and/or dye garments, vintage linens, trims and more in these amazing shades of blue! Bring your own natural fabrics (indigo won’t work on synthetic fibers) such as silk, cotton, linen and rayon. Include a variety of weights: thinner fabrics like gauze and chiffons are beautiful and take the dye in a different way than denim does.

We will explore shibori techniques such as arashi, ne-maki, itajime and kumo. You can also enjoy the results from a wide variety of Shibori Stitch Resist techniques, but advance preparation of your fabrics prior to class is required due to time constraints (see below).

Please wear old clothes AND shoes to class — staining blue splashes and drips are nearly impossible to avoid!

Supply List:

  • Natural fiber fabrics — silk, cotton, linen and rayon fabrics — in a variety of weights. Note that indigo dye will not take on synthetic fibers. All fabric must be prepared for dyeing. Prewash all that you will bring and do NOT use fabric softener, either in the wash or the dryer.
    • Preferred lengths are ½ to 1 yard. Larger pieces of fabric can work too with manipulation and/or repeat dyeing.
    • Overdyed fabric is beautiful (especially with shibori; see below), so your fabrics can be patterned; it doesn’t have to be solid colors
    • Bring T-shirts, button-downs, sundresses, scarves and other natural fiber garments, if desired
    • String to wrap the poles. (It ends up hand dyed and can be reused in a stitching or macramé project!)
    • White Pearl Cotton for simple stitched resists completed during class, if desired. (We recommend devoting time before the class to stitching your shibori resists: see additional information and links below)
    • White floss, if desired, to dye at the same time as your fabric.
  • Rubber gloves
  • Apron
  • PVC pipes in several size diameters (only if you already have; no need to purchase)
  • Large binder clips and/or F clamps
  • Wooden or Lucite/acrylic shapes, if you already have
  • Round items for resist. Examples can include buttons, coins, dried beans, washers, nuts and bolts, marbles, etc.
  • Very large plastic bags (to carry dyed items home to rinse)

Manipulating Fabric in Advance & Creating Shibori Stitched Resists

Artistic Artifacts has previously held indigo dye classes over the course of two days, where the first day was devoted solely to creating stitched resists as well as preparing ne-maki (binding cloth around round found objects) itajime shibori (a shape-resist technique) and kumo shibori (a twist and bind resist technique) fabric bundles. Because of the time constraints of this one-day class, advance preparation is necessary if you’d like to prepare larger, more complex ne-maki, itajime and kumo shibori designs and explore stitched resists. You can find lots of information online on shibori techniques as well as inspirational photos of the finished results. Visit Dharma Trading for Traditional Indigo Shibori Basics and In Color Order for a wide variety of techniques.

And Then We Set It On Fire, a surface design blog, has a wealth of shibori techniques. While the blog is no longer active, the content is all archived. From the links we include below, you can also view the right sidebar for additional information. For instance, see Shibori folding for the beginning of 28 different folding techniques, and check out the right sidebar to move through the different tutorials.

“The unique effects possible with nui shibori are determined by the type of stitch, whether or not the cloth is folded, and the arrangement of the stitches-straight, curved, parallel, or area enclosing. After the stitching of a piece is completed, the cloth is drawn into tight gathers, along the stitched thread(s), and secured by knotting. It is then dyed. The cloth within the gathers is largely protected from the dye. The simple running stitch is commonly used and sewn evenly in a constant forward movement...Stitching affords flexibility and control to create designs of great variety-delicate or bold, simple or complex, pictorial or abstract. World Shibori Network (https://shibori.org/traditions/techniques/)

While stitched resists can be time-consuming to prepare, the results are well worth it, so we encourage you to experiment! And Then We Set It On Fire devoted an entire month to tutorials and photo illustrations of various shibori stitched resist techniques. Visit the blog to begin viewing the archived content — scroll down for the content and to see the list of related links in the right sidebar. A small selection of their stitching tutorials they reviewed to get you started:

Additional Shibori Stitch tutorials::