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 shibori workshop group photo on saturday

Shibori group photo on Saturday

A couple of weeks ago, I taught two energetic groups of students how to dye with organic indigo and shibori techniques. The weather was perfect. People brought all kinds of old and new clothes to work on. The best thing about shibori is it’s a great way to upcycle clothes without sewing. 

Using organic indigo is a special dye. We move carefully in the vat making sure not to over work it. I always have a heating element to keep the indigo activated during dyeing. Students build and build layers of blue, always oxidizing between dips. It’s not a quick process but most beautiful things in this world take patience.

Student reveals beautiful shibori scarf pattern

Student revealing a beautiful shibori scarf pattern
The exciting part about shibori is you can mix all kinds of patterns together and the result is almost always excellent. Beginners at this art form do really well because there are no expectations. I like to encourage students' ideas and help them ferret out their path because we’re all usually surprised by the beautiful result. Just look at Judy’s scarf!

Indigo oxidizing shibori pattern

Angie reveals her work. See how it turned out at the bottom of this post.
This is the best part of the day, the reveal. The surprise during the reveal is always so much fun. Angie is looking over the green indigo right after she’s untied her bundle. Green will oxidize to blue. If you want to see her final beautiful shibori pillows, check out the photo at the end of this post.

Sunday's shibori workshop group shot

Sunday's shibori group shot

Sunday’s group was super energetic and prepared! Kylie W wanted to do a duvet cover so I supplied her with a bigger instant indigo vat. The reason for this is because the vat size had to be very big and I didn’t have a heating element that would hold that much water. And check out the duvet! Other students brought clothes and scarves to upcycle, like a red tank top with a circular stitch pattern on it. Indigo dyeing on top of colors is rewarding because the indigo layers up, creating a color mixing effect.

Jenny teaching shibori among shibori artwork

Here I am teaching. Thanks for the shot Melanie B.
People sometimes ask me what I get out of teaching shibori class. For me, I love to see students latch onto specific techniques and express themselves in their projects. No two classes I’ve ever taught have ever been the same, yes, like snowflakes. It’s pretty remarkable. And this keeps me coming back for more. That’s also why I love to do a group shot at the end of every class as a quick memento.

Shibori pillows on a student's couch

I love seeing shibori styled in the house! Great work!

It’s shibori in action! Such a great shot. I love how the patterns work so well with what Angie already had going on the couch. If you’ve taken a class from me and have photos you’d like to share, I’d love to see them. I’m working on a blog post with just student work out and about. If you want to be included in this post, please send ‘em!

If you’re considering taking a shibori workshop, what've you been thinking about upcycling or refreshing? I’d love to know in the comments below.

You can also get inspired by looking at past workshop posts here and here.


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  • Hey Kate!
    I have an idea about teaching online through my website. You’ll learn about what this is by joining my email list if you aren’t on it already.

    Jenny on
  • If it’s ever possible to socially distance and do another Shibori class I’d love to come! Thanks

    Kate Bystrowski on
  • Thank you so much for bringing your curiosity and energy to class! It was a pleasure to teach you and see your wonderful creations coming from the vat.

    Jenny Fong on
  • I was looking for techniques to create repetitive and deliberate patterns with dye. I don’t have expertise with indigo and Jenny delivered on both. Teaching new and beautiful patterns with everyday items that are easy to find and teaching us how to make an indigo vat and to monitor it during the dye process. The class was relaxing and self-paced and it was fun to watch what other students did and to see how their ideas and work turned out. It is definitely worth the time to attend.

    Barbara Bratton on

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