Friday, November 18, 2011

Shibori: Japanese Resist Dye (4th Grade)

Shibori is a fabric resist dying technique from Japan that uses different methods of stitching, binding, knotting, compressing, and folding fabric to resist dye from being absorbed.

In my 4th grade class, students used 100% cotton fabric, watered down acrylic fabric paints, and clothes pins to create their very own Shibori fabric art!

1) Write name on fabric with sharpie (I used approximately 12"x18" sized pieces of fabric)
2) Dip fabric in water and then wring it out
3) Lay flat on table and fold like an accordion (1" wide)
4) Place clothes pins on damp fabric compressing the places you want to resist dye
5) Place compressed fabric in plastic tub and pick 2 of the 3 primary colors
6) Saturate the top of the fabric with dye
6) Turn fabric over to back and fill in any white spaces
7) Let sit for a minimum 2 hours (I let mine sit until the end of the day)
8) Take off clothes pins and press folded fabric between two towels to absorb any excess dye
9) Open up fabric and lay flat on drying rack over night
10) Once dry trim off frayed fabric edges with a pair of fabric scissors

Step 7: let compressed fabric sit for a couple hours
Steps 7-9
Optional: During the next class period I had students use embroidery floss to stitch a 1" fold on the top of their fabric. This allows us to place a dowel through the fabric and hang it for display! (for the dowel I bought a 100 piece package of thin kabob skewers from the dollar store and hot glued them together in pairs to make them longer.)

Overall a fun project that was fairly inexpensive. The fabric was covered by the local lions club and the fabric paints were donated by another classroom teacher. You can go and splurge on the Dynaflo fabric paints or other expensive dyes, but truly if you are not going to wash the fabrics there is no need to spend the money!


  1. I haven't heard of this fabric art before - thanks for sharing! I'm always looking for new culture based lessons.

  2. Glad to see this - looking forward to trying it out!

  3. These are beautiful! Thanks for the detailed step-by-step instructions- I love textile art.

  4. What type of fabric did you use? Great project!