Park-and-Cube_MiH-Jeans-Shibori-Indigo_008Photo: Park & Cube

Shibori is Japanese word stemming from the verb “shiboru” meaning  to wring, squeeze or press and describes the method of forcing dye through cloth where some areas have been tied to resist . The earliest known examples of shibori fabrics date back to the 8th century. This look is very a la mode at this moment.

There are many shibori techniques that involve ways to bind, stitch, fold, pleat, twist, or compress fabric to make areas to resist dye penetration and each results in very different pattern. These technique can also be combined to achieve elaborate results near taming the random appeal of tie and dye. The fabrics to which this is applied are traditionally cotton, silk or linen and Indigo is the customery dye of choice.


Image: Sublitex

Kanoko shibori is what we generally call tie dye and did at Primary School. A piece of cloth is tied with a thread or length of string in a series of circles, in my day putting a marble at the centre and then working outwards . Where the string is bound tightly the dye into which the fabric is dipped cannot penetrate and there for resist the colouration.


Miura shibori is also known as looped binding. This technique takes small sections of cloth around which a thread is loopedi n regular repeating sections. No knot is used and a small amount of dye gets to the edge forming and attractive blur.


Kumo shibori involves fine and even pleating and binding to make resist areas. Then the cloth is bound in very close sections and gives a fine spider web design.



Nui shibori makes resist areas through a simple running stitch which is then pulled very tightly to gather the cloth. Each thread is secured with a knot before being dipped. This technique allows for greater design variety and resist  control but it is very time consuming.


Arashi shibori is also known as pole-wrapping shibori. The cloth is wrapped diagonally around a pole, then very tightly bound by wrapping down the pole length. The cloth is scrunched up the pole making a more random resist area. “Arashi” is the Japanese word for storm and you can almost imagine rivellettes of water running across a window pane.



Itajime shibori  sandwiches the fabric between two pieces of wood, which are held in place with string to clamp the package tightly  causing larger areas of resist in the pattern.

Tory Burch3

Hikari at the Tory Burch Fall Winter 2019 runway show, wearing a dress from the TORY BURCH X BUAISOU  plus the window display in her Ginza store in Japan and the collection using traditional shibori hand dyed fabrics.


We are being asked for printed Shibori designs to imitate these artisanal techniques and this made us curious as to where these designs came from and to learn more. There are plenty of sites on the internet such as Instructables, Nunoya and Moomah that show you how to make these designs at home as there are books on the subject.

We have been through the Sublitex library searching out all the different shibori styles that we could find and reveling in the beautiful simplicity of the indigo palette. Keep an eye out for our next blog post on Tuesday where we will be showcasing these beautiful Sublitex print designs.

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