Shibori is a sophisticated shape-resist dyeing technique that uses a variety of methods to bind, wrap, stitch, pleat or clamp fabric to create patterns during the dyeing process.

The word shibori comes from the Japanese verb shiboru which means ‘to wring, squeeze or press’.  The technique creates three dimensional impressions in the fabric which combined with dyeing creates patterns that have characteristically ‘soft’ or indistinct edges and gives the fabric a crinkled or puckered texture.

The easiest of shibori techniques is miura in which a hooked needle is used to pluck sections of cloth and a thread is looped around several times using only tension to hold it in place.

This video clip shows a highly skilled craftsperson demonstrating the various steps in creating shibori designs. The video is a bit dated, but you can see the various traditional processes from 3.5 minutes into the clip.
The amount of fabric bound in this way creates different shapes & sizes of kanoko (fawn spots) - different styles like hitta kanoko. The Kyoto Shibori Museum has a video of the shibori silk dyeing process.
More information about shibori techniques can be found on the website of the World Shibori Network  and here on a blog about kimono & Japanese textiles.

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