Sunday, April 24, 2011


Arashi Shibori is done by wrapping the item, in this case a silk scarf, around a pole or pipe. PVC pipes work really well. They're cheap and lightweight. They also don't absorb dye like wood. String is wound around the scarf to hold it in place. You get a different look depending on if you wrap the string around in the same direction or the opposite. After it is bound to the pipe it is pushed down to one of the of the pipe. If you twist it a bit as compressing it, you get a bit more ragged edge to the stripes.

This was the first time I did stripes of dye. I thickened it with sodium alginate, which is seaweed, so it wouldn't bleed or drip. I mixed it about 1/2 teaspoon per cup of water so it was more like paint. Not nearly as this as the green dye in an earlier post. The alginate also seems to help it hold onto water better. It has to stay moist for the dye to react properly.

The lines and color bands are in a zig-zag because I folded the scarf in thirds before wrapping it around the pipe. I did 4 stripes, 2 blue and 2 purple. Using a larger diameter pipe, or doing only 2 stripes would make the color bands different.


  1. I like this a lot, Kim! I have struggled with pole-wrap shibori, but it might be because I was trying to use that method on shirts... seems to work very well on silk! I'm wondering if you had to steam the scarf afterward to set the dye? And have you ever tried steaming in the microwave while the scarf was still on the pvc?

  2. I tried using some heavier cotton and it didn't work well. I think the weave was too tight and the dye couldn't get through the layers. I don't know if stirring more would help. This is a crepe de chine, so the weave is pretty open.

    I used fiber reactive so I wouldn't have to steam. I wasn't going for a specific color so I didn't mind if the color shifted a bit. My microwave is pretty small so I can't fit much in there. I use a 4' long section of pipe to make it easier to wrap. Once it is all scrunched down it fits in a bucket fine. But using alginate makes it easier to have more than one scarf on teh pole at a time. I don't need to try to find a really tall pipe. Although I thought about using the next size larger of pipe as the 'bucket'. I wouldn't need so much water and dye then.