Let’s continue our talks on Shibori legacy which is a classic example of handmade Japanese craftsmanship. Running over the centuries, “SHIBORI” art is well preserved in rich Japanese tradition and an integral part of their textile culture. Here we will narrow down our post to the 7 POPULAR SHIBORI TECHNIQUES YOU MUST KNOW.

The overall process involved in creating a shibori dyed fabric is extremely ingenious. Folding, twisting and binding the fabric without actually knowing the end design we get to find. The untying of the dyed piece is a thrill experience which consistently creates beautiful results. 

“Perhaps it is the lack of control one has in using the shibori technique that creates its allure. It is a meticulous process, and yet, there is an element of surprise as there is no way to predict the outcome once the cloth has been dipped into the vat of indigo. Colours, patterns, and hues bleed into each other, bringing life to each piece, and ensuring that no one outcome will be the same. The popularity of shibori today has emerged alongside a renewed focus on slow fashion, workmanship, and functionality.” Source: Sophie Lo, Madesmith.


As shibori dates back to 8th century, this long time frame gave artisans to develop various methods or techniques to create great patterns from THE BLUE DYE – INDIGO on the white cloth (usually silk, hemp, or cotton).


Here are 7 famous shibori techniques which are popular worldwide :

1. Kanoko shibori  (The Bound-Resist Technique)

Commonly popular as tie-dye in the west, it involves binding certain sections of the cloth using thread — traditionally shike-ito (a type of untwisted thread ) in order to achieve the desired creative pattern.

kanoko final result//

2. Miura shibori (The Looped-Binding Technique)

Miura shibori is also known as looped binding. In this technique a water-like pattern is obtained on the cloth without actually using “knot”. Miura shibori is very easy to bind and unbind, making this technique commonly used.

Miura - small dotted shibori//

3. Kumo shibori (The Pleat-and-Bind Technique)

Kumo, translated in Japanese, as “cloud“. It is a type of pleated and bound resist creating spider-like design. In this technique is created by pleating sections of the cloth very finely and evenly. Then the cloth is bound in very close sections requiring great precision.

A section of kumo shibori (spider shibori) dyed with indigo, next to kumo shibori that has not been dyed yet

Kumo Shibori//

4. Nui shibori (The Stitch-Resist Technique)

It is a time taking process where the cloth is pulled tight through a simple running stitch holding together the fabric and secured with a wooden dowel. Each thread is secured by knotting before being dyed. This technique allows for greater control over the pattern and design.

ACA Tablecloth 6//

5. Arashi shibori (The Pole-Wrapping Technique)

Arashi” is the Japanese word for “storm“. Also known as pole-wrapping shibori, is a technique where the cloth is wrapped on a diagonal around a pole. This diagonal design gives a striated pattern that mimics heavy rain from a storm.

Arashi Shibori//

Arashi Shibori in copper and pewter (detail)//

6. Itajime shibori (The Shape-Resist Technique)

Itajime shibori is a shaped-resist technique where the cloth is sandwiched between two pieces of wood, which are held in place with string. The shapes prevent the dye from penetrating the fabric they cover. The resulted pattern is in geometric square grids.

Classic Indigo blue 001//

itajime-4final// itajime-2final//

7. Ne-Maki shibori (The Pebble Technique)

Ne-maki is a technique that involves wrapping fabric around simple objects like beads or coins into the cloth to produce circular or round patterns. The dyed pattern replicates the form of the object used in the process.

Ne-maki furoshiki//

Ne-maki shibori in centre and Mokume shibori//

All such shibori techniques requires a pliant and easy-to-handle fabric because the design produced is highly influenced by the technique involved, fabric used and obviously the dyestuff.

What an amazing technique of fabric dying… there is so much to talk about it. Even in India we follow shibori inspired design in our apparels … we will certainly talk about it in our next post…

Share your thoughts about shibori in the comment section below and tell me your shibori experience.



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