Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Itajime Shibori Process

I’ve been working on a commission of 4 coordinating pieces of Itajime Shibori on cotton.
Itajime Shibori is created by pleating, folding, clamping and dyeing the fabric and it can be used to create really lovely repeat patterns. I often use the technique on rice paper for my own digital projects. It’s amazing the variety of patterns that can be achieved with this form of shibori and it’s really fun to do.
I work on pre-scoured and dried cotton sheeting for this type of shibori.
For this set of patterns I used three different folding methods, all started by pleating and pressing the fabric accordion style.
Each pleat is pressed down as it is made.
For the first two I took the pleated strip of fabric and folded it into a series of right triangles each stacked on top of the others, pressing each fold as it is made.
The third was folded into a stack of squares using the same pressing method.
The fourth is a bit different because I pleated it diagonally then folded it into a larger square stack.
Once the fabric was folded into stacks it was tightly clamped using thick card stock and squeezy clamps. Creating neatly pressed stacks of fabric gives each area of exposed fabric equal access to the dye once it is clamped so I’m really careful to take time to fold and press neatly (unless I want an uneven result).
Next the dyes are applied to the exposed areas by dipping or painting using an activated dye solution. I used three densities of navy blue, I wanted a dark pattern but I find that using three densities creates a more dynamic look. These are the resulting patterns.
These two are the Triangular folds
This is the Square foldAnd this is the Diagonal pleat

I really like the variety I got in this batch.


Anonymous said...

great set of itajime! i just love the possible variety this technique offers.

alsokaizen said...

I love it too glennis! I find this particular technique has the ability to offer a surprise with nearly every set I make!

n said...

This really takes my breath away. I am so looking forward to having this in my hands and playing with. Think it these will really pull the quilt together and turn it into some thing very, very special!

juanita sim said...

Wow! These pieces are beautiful. Great photos and instructions. What do you mean when you say that you used three densities of navy blue? Do you dip and paint with several different concentrations of dye?

umoya said...

beautiful work !!

alsokaizen said...

Hi Jacky
I think I deleted your comment by mistake D'oh!
Anyhow the 3 densities I use are a regular Navy mix a medium Navy and a Light Navy
I make the medium tone by using 1/3 as much dye powder as the dark into the same amount of water. The light is 1/3 the density of the Medium. I find that it is a good range and works for most colors.

Amber Coppings Designs said...

What a great, simple tutorial on itajime shibori! I included this blog post as a link in a recent posting of my own. Great job!

Patricia G said...

Beautiful work! Very skilled.
I have made decorative papers using this technique with inks.

alsokaizen said...

Hi Patricia
I love playing with these techniques on paper too.

Unknown said...

Can anyone please tell me if we can do this technique on silk... i am doing a project on it...