Adventures in itajime shibori

Adventures in what?

From the same folks that gave the world sushi and origami comes the equally OCD collection of dye patterning techniques collectively known as shibori (she-BOO-ree). All of these methods involve creating a physical resist between cloth and a dye bath by folding, clamping, wrapping, stitching, and binding. I've been using arashi (ah-RAH-she)--pole wrapping--for several years and getting some satisfying results.

An example of the type of patterning produced by arashi shibori

An example of the type of patterning produced by arashi shibori

I've also been experimenting with itajime (it-ah-JEE-may), another form of shibori that involves clamping folded cloth between wood or plexiglass forms to create a resist. With all of these techniques you get out what you put in. In the case of itajime, carefully folding and pressing the fabric is a time-consuming process, but ultimately produces better (or at least or regular geometric) results than loosely folded fabric.

Itajime scarves drying on the line

Itajime scarves drying on the line

And, for your further entertainment, here's a video that compresses the somewhat fussy process of folding and pressing a 2 yard piece of cloth into a small triangular stack. In this video and the image above I'm working with cotton lawn.