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Shibori (long and wordy)

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  • aliteachesart
    Hi Artist Teachers, I said I would share information from the Shibori workshop I attended last month. I was skeptical about doing it with kids- it has been
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 8, 2010
      Hi Artist Teachers,

      I said I would share information from the Shibori workshop I attended last month. I was skeptical about doing it with kids- it has been really successful! Here is the basics interpreted by me.

      Wikipedia has a great page w/ the kinds of Shibori:


      I bought all the materials online from Dharma Trading in California, as the artist teaching the workshop recommended using their Reactive Procion dyes, and I could buy silk scarves there too (you can use any natural fabric, the silk is easy to work with, "fancy" and inexpensive) for $1.39 each. There was a $20.00 shipping charge though. Other dyes could certainly be used. Check out their site for some cool tutorials too!


      The workshop was 38 art teachers vying for dye bottles and one sink. Every scarf was totally different and the directions are really easy:
      Arashi Shibori= dyeing the fabric on a pole.
      1) Scrunch the scarf on a 2 foot pvc pole
      2) Rubber band it loosely
      3) Soak it in nitrogen water (makes the dye permanent- buy w/ dye)
      4) Squirt on dye, let set for 10 minutes - 2 hours (don't let it dry)
      5) Rinse in cool water
      6) Remove rubber bands
      7) Wash with a bit of clothes detergent and warm water
      8) Let dry and iron

      My 1, 3, and 4th grade classes are making one scarf for the parent group fundraiser (other grades are making a ceramic planter). No matter how many kids are in the class, you can have enough little jobs for everyone to do one. Each kid will be away from the class project for a minute or two only. The dye needs to set for at least 10 minutes. This is how we did Shibori during a 45 minute art class:

      One kid "mixed" the nitrogen water in a bucket at the sink- counting to 100 (or 50, the nitrogen water solution was already measured out by me, have kids wear rubber gloves and smocks, no splashing. We reused it all day, but I still had someone mix it.)

      At the same time another child folded the scarf in half, and depending how large the class was more students put on rubber bands "like a pony tail". Kanoko Shibori- like tie dye. They can also pleat and twist the silk.

      The next kid rubber banded one end to the top of a dry, 1 inch pvc pipe (about 2 feet long).

      Another student wrapped the scarf around the pipe and scrunched it.

      The next secured it loosely with another rubber band.

      Meanwhile students picked 3 colors from prepared dye while consulting the color wheel. The dye was kept in sponge topped applicator bottles w/ the sponge removed. The workshop facilitator used clean glue bottles.

      After wrapping, a student or two (with gloves, aprons, goggles if you have them) wet the scarf down in the nitrogen water by stirring.

      Once saturated, someone squeezes it out to remove excess- gloves of course!

      Over an empty bucket or sink, 3 more students apply the dye. I oversaw this step to make sure all areas were covered, and to look out for too much "browning out".

      All of that goes by quick. Now let the dye set up for at least 10 minutes. I let it go until 5 minutes before the end of class.

      One or two kids rinse the scarf on the pole with cool water in the sink until the water runs clear.

      Someone removes the rubber bands.

      Someone else washes the scarf with a drop of detergent in warm water until clear water, free of soap.

      Hold it up for the class- wow! Lots of little jobs, every one important- makes a big, beautiful Shibori scarf!

      I really made a big deal about every tiny job, and how it was an important piece of the puzzle. This is a great silent auction fund raiser or teacher gift. For male teachers you could do a pocket square or tie (see dharma trading- but the tie you need to take the liner out and resew after ironing). Personally, I'm going to be selling these at a local craft fair this summer- I'm hooked! Leftover dye keeps for about 2 weeks in the frige. My packet from the work shop is at home, if anyone lives in Upstate/ Northern NY or VT and wants info on having the presenter come email me and I will pass it along. She also does cool glue batik pillows or tshirts with kids.

      I hope this wasn't too confusing! The scarves can be hand washed, air dried- not dye cleaned. ALi k-4
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