Miss Party is in indigo heaven and mesmerized by shibori fabrics! The ancient Japanese method of making indigo-dyed prints that are perfectly imperfect called “shibori”, has made a renewed round on the runway and interior design world. Summertime, is the perfect time to jump on board and try this fun DIY trend yourself.
So what does “shibori” mean? It’s a traditional Japanese fabric handling method of folding and binding. The fabric is given a three-dimensional form by folding, crumpling, stitching or twisting the cloth. The fabric is secured in a number of ways, such as binding and knotting and then dyed in an indigo-dye bath. It yields beautiful results even for a first-timer. The indigo color and patterns feel fresh and beautiful for summer whether you lean towards modern or boho decor –or if you’re just crazy about the blue and white home decor trends!
-white 100% cotton fabric, tablecloths, table runner, napkins, tablecloths, sheets or white clothing to dye (look through old white linens, too, to give them a new life!)
-Indigo Dye Kit (Miss Party purchased a kit from Jacquard Products)
Additional items needed that are not in your kit:
-(2) 5 gal buckets one with lid (easy to find at a hardware store)
-paint stir sticks or dowels
-small plastic container that can be disposed of after using
-extra pair of plastic gloves for a helper (recommend getting Playtex gloves that cover the forearm further than what comes in the kit)
-apron (also wear old clothes)
-tarp or drop cloth
-bag of rubber bands in various sizes
-additional wood squares (kit only comes with 2)
This post is not a step-by-step DIY (because the kit’s directions will do a great job) but more of a behind-the-scenes view of the general process and how the linens turned out. Miss Party recommends you carve out an afternoon to go through the various steps of dyeing your fabric, ending with a quick machine wash and dry.
1) First, you’ll follow your kit’s directions for getting the dye bath ready. Allow the WARM WATER dye bath to sit for 1/2 hour before dyeing your fabrics. Work outdoors, over a tarp or drop cloth.
2) Next, you’ll fold and bind your fabric pieces with rubber bands and wood squares. Try a variety of folding methods for which you’ll find directions in your Indigo Dye Kit. You really can’t do it ‘wrong’, nothing we tried came out badly. Miss Party wanted her large tablecloths and runner in the classic geometric pattern made using a traditional accordion-fold, bound and sandwiched between wood squares. She also wanted each napkin in a set of four to have a different pattern.
3) From here on, you should closely follow the Indigo Dye Kit’s directions for dyeing the fabric and rinsing the pieces in cold water in your second bucket. Rinse each fabric piece until the water is relatively clear, it will take 2-3 buckets of water for a large tablecloth. Remember the indigo color will be considerably lighter when it is dry. Leave the fabric to hang dry, laid out on your drop cloth or even just on the grass.
Don’t worry when you take your fabric bundles out of the dye bath and they are bright green instead of blue, the green areas will oxidize in the air and turn blue in a few minutes. Turn the pieces periodically to let air get to all sides. The same thing will occur later when you remove the rubber bands. Enjoy the moment of how pretty the two colors look together, the moment is fleeting and will soon all be blue.
Depending on how light or dark a shade of indigo you are going for, you might want to let the fabric oxidize in the air for 20 minutes and repeat the dyeing process once more. The linens in all of these pictures were dyed twice for about 5 minutes each time. As you can see the shade is significantly darker when the fabric is wet. Below you can see the final indigo shade once the fabrics were washed and dried.
4) Miss Party suggests one final step. Throw everything in together for a quick wash and dry to set your dyes. Your linens may additionally need pressing.
Enjoy all the indigo loveliness for years to come!