After swooning over Thakoon Panichgul's beautiful dresses and later on Proenza Schouler ages ago I've been in love with the traditional Japanese textile art form of Shibori. So much so that one of the first tutorials here on Gave That was how to create Shibori wrapping paper using inks. Since then what's kept me from going all out with a fabric Shibori DIY has been the tenacious indigo dyes used in the Shibori process.
That's when using bleach to get a similar, albeit negative effect, popped into mind. Even better I found some napkins tucked away in a cupboard that were already dyed with indigo thanks to being denim. Why reinvent the wheel, right? The result... looks rather legit. If you've always wanted some Shibori napkins or have just wanted to try your hand at the art form at home keep reading for the very simple how-to below along with how to use your finished textile to wrap gifts.
OK, let's do this!
What You Will Need:
- Cotton cloth napkins (see similar ones to mine here)
- Rubber bands
- Chop sticks
Step 1) For my pattern I folded the cloth napkins accordion fan style.
Step 2) Then chop sticks were added to either side of the pleated napkin and pressed into place by a series of rubber bands down the entire length. The traditional Itajime style or board bound resist dyeing technique of Shibori served as inspiration.
This was the most time consuming part next to bleaching and drying but still went quick. The entire process took 20 minutes max.
This is just one example of how to create the resist for your finished Shibori design. There are so many different ways of wrapping and tying your fabric including (Arashi shibori) scrunched up around a pole to create long leafy designs or (Kumo shibori) covering small stones with your cloth and wrapping around them with rubber bands or string to create dots. What I've learned is with bleach the finished look is more burn out and less chrisp.
Step 3) Donning gloves its time to spray on some bleach. Using a stain remover bleaching pen or dipping in a bleach bath also works. Due to fumes I like to do this outdoors with good air flow.
Step 4) When it lightened enough (after about 20 minutes) I washed the napkins thoroughly, applied white vinegar to stop the bleaching action and hung them on the line to dry.
A little ironing once it fully dried on the line and it was done! Along with using of gifting these as napkins and to wrap gifts with (find the tutorial for creating the above Furoshi gift wrap look above over here), these can be sewn or even safety pinned together to create instant throw pillows.
Image: mam for Gave That