Monday, September 14, 2020

Shibori Shiraz

My outdoor dye place - I love my sink!

Yes, its been a while and I'm not even going to say why....

But I'm back at it and working at getting my creative mojo happening. This summer was spent dyeing amongst other tasks and I did a LOT of ice dyes, they are gorgeous! I'll do another post sometime and show you the best ones...but I also delved back into Shibori in a small way. 

Since moving to our small island my dye studio is outdoors and really just happens in the summer but last year I made some Shibori that worked very well as water on a quilt and I knew I needed more. So this is a little tutorial to show my version and it involves wine....

  1. Buy wine that has a uniform diameter bottle, no bulbous or fancy shape - buy the cheap stuff with a screw top and drink it all!
  2. Gather your wine bottles - fill them with water - and the same number of juice jugs, not one or two but at least three bottles and three jugs.

Measure the circumference of the bottle and add 1 1/2". Tear a strip, full width from selvedge to selvedge (no cutting, just tear) that measurement. Sew the fabric into a tube with a scant 1/2" seam allowance.

Pull the fabric tube onto the wine bottle, working from the neck down is generally easier. Place an elastic band at the bottom ( I like the thicker elastics from broccoli), push the tube down as far as you can and secure with another elastic at the bottom.

Mix up a soda solution in a bucket: 1/2 cup soda solution + 1 gallon of warm water, stir well. 

Place each bottle into a juice jug and pour the soda solution into the jug to the top of the fabric and let soak for 20 minutes.

Wearing a particle mask, mix 1 teaspoon of dye powder into 1/2 cup of water and stir well, some powder may float to the top so take a couple minutes to stir well.

I like to vary the intensity of the colour between each jug so I'll put a little bit, 2 tbsp. or so in the first jug, a bit more in the second and then finally the remainder in the last jug. Plunge each bottle gently up and down to get the dye mixed in the jug.

Let the bottles soak in the dye solutions for 2-3 hours then remove and rinse well.

Now comes the fun... there are endless colour and value combinations but I'll walk you through how I can get so much variety in a simple way:

  • make 2-3 batches of the dyed tubes, each a different colour - say red, green or blue
  • then take one red tube and two blue/green tubes (different values) and put them into a batch of yellow
  • from those three put them into a bronze or purple batch
  • there's no need to wash the tubes in between dye batches, just rinse, hang to dry and start again with a soda soak for 20 minutes and new dye colour in the solution
  • I repeat those steps over and over with different colour combination. Usually I only do three colours on one fabric, sometimes I'll stop at two if I really like them
  • one of my favourite is to dye with"indigo" from dharma Trading - it looks like the real thing but is a fibre reactive dye!
Once I have a batch of these tubes I unpick the stitching and I wash them all in the machine on a hot setting with a bit of Synthrapol detergent.
They really do glow beautifully once Ive ironed them ...