Five DIY Shibori Projects Perfect for Fall

Shibori Blanket

By now, most people are probably familiar with the Shibori. The shibori is a dyeing technique that originated from Japan and involves bunching, twisting, or folding cloth and then binding it. The final step is to dye the material indigo. The binding material should ideally resist the dye. Shibori is a vast technique and there are numerous ways to achieve it.

Here are five DIY shibori projects that are perfect for fall.

1. Shibori Pillows

You will need:

  • twine
  • PVC pipe
  • paint stick
  • scissors
  • trash bags or drop cloth
  • rubber gloves
  • tiles or wood blocks
  • rubber bands
  • 2 to 5 gallon buckets
  • 1 yard of white pure cotton fabric
  • indigo dye kit


Before you start, ensure that you read the pamphlet that is included in the kit thoroughly. The indigo die only works with 100 percent pure fibers.

ARASHI METHOD: Use the hand dyed fabrics to make three pillow covers

  1. Precut the fabric into your desired dimensions for the body pillow.
  2. Soak the first fabric material completely and then ring it out.
  3. Fold the fabric around your PVC pipe, and then tie a knot with the twist at the bottom of the pipe.
  4. Now, push the fabric towards the bottom of the pipe, in sections to make it easier to scrunch the material down.
  5. Put on your rubber gloves, and then submerge the whole fabric into your dye bucket.
  6. Press down and massage the material under the dye for three to five minutes.
  7. Lift out the fabric material, which should look green, but not yet indigo.
  8. Set aside to rest and oxidize – it will turn to indigo on its own.
  9. Wash in cold water and then tumble dry.
  10. Do the same with the remaining fabric.

2. Dyed Lunch Bags

You will need:

  • A jacquard indigo tie dye kit
  • Natural fibers such as cotton, linen, and silk


  1. Fold your silk fabric in the middle, lengthwise, with every fold about 5 degrees apart.
  2. Place the folded material between two CD discs, and then press it down
  3. Use spring clamps to hold it tightly together, and then dye in the indigo kit.
  4. Place aside to dry before ironing carefully.
  5. Fold the material at the bottom to sew a bag, and then make another fold at the bottom.
  6. The last fold should be a few inches high, inside the bag.
  7. Sew the sides, over the folds of your bag, and then turn it inside out.
  8. Fold again before ironing the upper edge.
  9. Finish by sewing the upper edge.

3. DIY Indigo Dyed Blanket

You will need:

  • Gloves
  • Natural cotton fabric
  • A box of indigo tie dye kit
  • Extra rubber bands, boards, and clamps


  1. Crease your natural fiber into an accordion fold, and then clam it using the boards or rubber bands.
  2. Transfer the dye into a bucket and mix following the instructions on the package.
  3. Ideally, start with four gallons of warm water, adding the indigo dye while stirring in circular motions.
  4. Mix in the reduction agent and soda ash, all of which are included in the indigo tie dye kit. Stir again in a clockwise direction, and then in reverse before covering with a plastic wrap to avoid oxidation.
  5. Submerge the material in water, then remove and dunk into the dye. Press gently and massage the material for a few minutes.
  6. Now, wash thoroughly before removing the blocks and bands. The result should be some greenish hue, which should oxidize and turn indigo soon.
  7. Finish by air drying and ironing.

4. Shibori Tie Dye Fabric

You will need:

  • A few elastic bands of various sizes
  • Rubber gloves
  • Garbage bags for covering the surface area
  • Large plastic tray
  • Large spoon for stirring
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cup
  • Linen, cotton, or any other natural fabric
  • One bottle of indigo dye


Start by determining the kind of pattern you want to create. In this instance, we have wrapped a number of elastic bands along the surface of the fabric, which you can tie as many as you desire.

Design one:

Fold the fabric into an accordion design. Ideally, this means folding the cloth at the center and then tying together using elastic bands.

Design two

Fold the cloth in an accordion style, this time in the other direction. Insert the tiles in between your folds while folding, using rubber bands to hold everything together.

Design three

  1. Fold the fabric in an accordion design, and then roll it together. Secure using rubber bands.
  2. Cover the working area with plastic, and protect your hands with rubber gloves.
  3. Shake the dye bottle, and then pour over the work surface.
  4. Fill two gallons of extra hot water into a three-gallon container.
  5. Measure half a cup of liquid dye with four cups of extra hot water, and then stir to mix.
  6. Combine the dye solution with the water, and stir thoroughly.
  7. Immerse the wrapped fabric into your dye bath for three to five minutes. Remove and set aside to rest and oxidize for four to six minutes.
  8. Unwrap the fabric and air dry. Finish by washing the fabric in cold water, and then ironing to set the color in place.

5. Shibori Dish Towels


You will need:

  • Twine
  • PVC pipe
  • paint stick
  • scissors
  • trash bag or drop cloth
  • rubber gloves
  • tiles or wood blocks
  • rubber bands
  • 2 to 5 gallon buckets
  • Flour sack dish towels
  • Indigo dye kit


  1. Combine the dye with warm water in a bucket, following the directions on the packet and stirring in circular motions.
  2. Next, stir in the reduction agent and soda ash. Stir gently in one direction, and then switch to the other direction. A foamy top should start appearing, and the dye will now look neon green. Cover the top of the bucket to hinder oxidation, and wait for about half an hour for the dye to turn dark.
  3. Wrap the dish towel around your PVC pipe at an angle, tying the twine the entire length of the pole.
  4. Now, push the material downwards.
  5. Take the other dish towel and tie it together using a rubber band.
  6. Fold the fabric in an accordion design (long way), and then again in the other direction with the same technique to end up with a rectangle or square shape. Place two tiles or wood pieces over the top and bottom of your cloth, using rubber bands to bind the material between the wood.
  7. Once you are done and have secured all the clips and rubber bands in place, immerse the cloth in water.
  8. Ring it out, put on your rubber gloves, and then submerge it into your dye bucket. Press the fabric inside the dye for three to five minutes.
  9. Lift out the material, which should have turned greenish by now. Put it aside to oxidize and turn indigo.
  10. Remove the wood tiles and rubber bands and place the fabric flat on the ground for complete oxidation.
  11. Finish by washing in cold water and then tumble dry.


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