Origami shibori with indigo

11 July 2007

Folding origami is the easy part. Dyeing it is the hard part. Getting dye thru all those layers is the challenge.
Dyes have different ease of penetration. I percieve the penetration to be the highest with fiber reactive dyes , so in order of decreasing penetration

discharge (sulfur dioxide, a gas)
fiber reactives
acid dyes

My theory assumes that larger molecules penetrate less. Even so the book shows that good penetration can be achieved with even indigo. How do they do it?
First they buy ready-to-use indigo in a bottle:
bottled indigo.JPG
Aren’t you a wee bit jealous? I’d love to buy ready-to-use indigo.
Then they place the tied cloth in an appropriately sized plastic bag:
orgami dyeing 1.jpg
Then some ready-to-use indigo is added to the bag:
orgami dyeing 2.JPG
The air and blue indigo are removed from the bag and then the bag is clamped shut. This is the critical step– having the bag totally filled with the indigo bath and no air. Here is another picture of a larger piece: left: expelling the air, right: then clamped.
origami dyeing 3.JPG
Once you have the bag sealed, you can then massage the wad of cloth inside to increase the penetration.
origami dyeing 4.JPG
This way they have achieved good penetration on dense cotton with even indigo.
origami finished.JPG


9 Responses to “Origami shibori with indigo”

  1. neki rivera Says:

    i read a bit of Japanese and this is some kind of Indian indigo preparation. Below’s the link to the place which carries it. Unfortunately just mail order in Japan.
    neki desu


  2. Leigh Says:

    Hi. I found your blog via a link from Peg’s “Talking About Weaving” blog. I have done a little shibori via an online workshop, so your information is truly amazing.


  3. Laritza Says:

    Could you please share the contact information for the stores that carry the book? I have been reading your posts and I am fascinated by the technique.
    Thank you!


  4. Karren Says:

    Where did you do an on-line workshop?


  5. glennis Says:

    thanks for posting that Karren. very interesting. i plan on doing some experimenting with indigo in the near future and this has definitely fueled my desire!


  6. Karren Says:

    To find the book near you, use google and type in Japanese bookstore…. It probably won’t be listed on the website but if you call they may have it. Mine came from Kinokuniya in San Francisco.


  7. Claudia Says:

    I subscribed via email. I cannot get any pictures on your blog.


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