Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Doubled Fold Wood Grain/Patterned Shibori Shawl Instructions

Here are some step by step instructions to make a gorgeous indigo shibori shawl. I have sent off boxes with the material and needles and thread etc. to the Autumn Workshop members for them to work on before they come stay with me in Japan. Shibori is so time consuming I want them to make at least one piece that they suffer (slightly) through to understand the value of a one-off-shibori piece.

The shawl is wide and in order to half the stitching time the material is folded in half and stitched through two layers. This technique is often used in Rajastani tie dye pieces. I've seen only a few pieces like this done in Japan traditionally. The Japanese would go through the extra stitching to get a specific pattern. I like the mirror image actually.

Here are a few pictures of Kawamotos san's shawl from a few months back.

Ogata san is working on a simplified version. There is not the secondary middle stripe to make a separate positive/ negative section. I leave it up to you to figure out how complex you would like to stitch.

First fold the shawl in half width wise. Iron that flat. Stitch the two open sides together so it becomes a tube. 

The weave is almost gauze like. A double knot can easily be pulled through the weave so a ribbon is basted on the fold side of the  cloth so that the knots will not be pulled through the gauze. 

Horizontal stripes are drawn on using a blue disappearing ink (Aobana) at three centimeter intervals.

When all the horizontal stripes are drawn then the wave pattern is drawn in vertically. Avoid any horizontal stretches.

You can see the brown ribbon stitched onto the right side (actual center of the opened shawl) and the two sides stitched together on the left hand side.

First the drawn lines are stitched up.  When you come to a line you jump over and continue stitching from the next line over. Double knot your ends on both sides of the cloth so they can't be pulled through.

I used a black thread to make it easier to see but white thread is fine. Sew two rows between each line so that you have a row every centimeter. Drawing lines every centimeter is no fun and stitching without lines gives an overall more interesting casual appearance.

And it should look like this on the back.


  1. homework - oh gee whiz!! the shawl is beautiful, gorgeous colour with the light shining through

  2. I am dying to try this, thank you for the explanation.
    It was wise of you to send the fabric beforehand for a complex scarf. Shibori must be thought at and reflected upon, as is indigo dyeing.
    Oh, I am full of envy for the Autumn Workshop people!

    1. They are almost here! I am in overdrive trying to finish things up. Spring was so full of enthusiasm as the green was coming out. Autumn is a silent time. It will be interesting to see how the mood will be different. Wish you were here.

  3. Phew, think we Indigo Sisters got away lightly!!

    1. Judi prepared a few things in advance last spring and that gave me the idea. It is still summer here. Amazing long hot and clear one. I think we pulled in all the sun from around the world by the sound of it.

  4. Fantastic blog! Kepp inspiring us!

  5. Great blog - I wondered how this was done! Will have to save for a future workshop...