Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

A Day to Dye For!!!!

Monday morning dawned bright and beautiful as we strolled from our house to the dining hall, where we feasted on Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Grits, Oatmeal, Yogurt and Banana Bread!!!! I LIKE how the day is taking shape!!!

In our first session with Elizabeth Barton we started to learn the process of Arashi Shibori dyeing, with Elizabeth talking us thru the process …..


She then turned us loose to start creating our own fabrics. The process is surprisingly simple when you look at the wonderful designs that come out of it.

First step is to roll a fat quarter of fabric (from corner to corner) onto a 2 inch PVC pipe…..

DSC00733 You hold it in place with a rubber band and then proceed to twist and squish the fabric to the middle and then rubber-band it in place at each end and then scoot the whole thing down to the end of the pipe…..

DSC00735 Place it into a zip lock bag and start adding one or more colors……


Next step is to add warm water to the bag until the fabric is completely covered…..


Find a stable place to store them and wait for one hour….

DSC00740 Cleo had the wonderful idea to bring cut-off half gallon milk cartons and we used those to put our bags into.

One of the problems that I had with the first piece was that I kept pushing it off of the end of the pipe. So, after redoing it twice, I thought about creating a bumper at the bottom of the pipe. I took two large rubber bands and wound them just at the end of the pipe. IT WORKED…. the bands formed enough of a barrier that the fabric didn’t slip off of the end!!!!!

After soaking for an hour or so, we added an activator that increases the ph of the water and causes the dye molecules to attach to the fabric molecules. Then we wait for another hour…..

Then comes the magic!!!! When you first pull the fabric out of the dye it looks like a dark blob……


But as you start to pull the fabric off of the pole, you gasp as the first bit of color shows and then grows and grows…..


A bit more rinsing and you get to see the finished piece…….DSC00786

This one started with the original orange and yellow that I showed earlier but was rolled in the opposite direction and over-dyed with navy and black.

Unfortunately, the colors will fade by a couple of shades as it dries, but I am very pleased with it.

This one was folded in half to begin with and was wrapped on the straight grain. I added string to hold the pleats in place. Here is what I saw as it was coming off of the pole……

DSC00779 And here is the final (although the color is a bit off……

DSC00782 This was the last one that I pulled at the end of the day…..

DSC00789 The design was made by painting blue and green stripes on the scrunched fabric and then soaking it in a much lighter green.

The final step in the process is to soak the pieces overnight in water with a little bit of soap in it. So this is where I left them last night……

DSC00790 It sounds kind of wimpy to say that I only dyed 2-1/2 yards of fabric in a day, but it was SO SO SO much fun!!!!

….more to come……

2 thoughts on “A Day to Dye For!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Me

Share This Page

%d bloggers like this: