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4 different pleats with metallic pleat accents
Fabric wrapped on pole with monofilament

Shibori Pleating & Dyeing

Justine Limpus Parish

This tie-dye technique is an ancient Japanese dyeing process called Shibori.  "Arashi Shibori", which means, "storm", is the term used for patterns created by wrapping fabric around a pole. String is then wrapped around the fabric compressing it into pleats. This pattern can be seen on cotton & silk kimonos and looks very much like bamboo. Other forms of Shibori such as little circles looking like miniature donuts are made by pulling up little bits of fabric and tying string around the end to resist the dye.      

For Shibori dyeing, the fabric is pushed to the end of the pole and dipped into a dye bath.   In Japan large smooth wooden poles are used and it takes two big guys to push the pleated fabric to one end of the pole. The modern version uses PVC pipe instead, which is much lighter in weight.     

For Shibori pleating I use polyester fabric, which is then heat set and accented with textile paint.

There are many variations to this technique and it has international variations as well.  Here are some references you can use to get detailed information.        

  1. “Shibori”  The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing – by Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada,  Mary Kellogg Rice, Jane Barton. Published by Kodansha International Ltd, Copyright 1983, 1999. ISBN 4-7700-2399-5    
  2. Threads Magazine – look in back issues 1980’s    
  3. Ornament Magazine – Look for articles by Ana Lisa Hedstrom    
  4. Belle Armoire Magazine- Autumn 2002 – Article on Shibori Pleating by Justine Limpus Parish    
  5. International Shibori Society – shibori.org    
  6. Suggested Google search words – Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Yoshiko Wada, Shibori, Carter Smith