Bomaki Shibori

Shibori uses many methods to create resistance to dye in fabric; bomaki shibori uses primarily compression.  Like Arashi, it is done on a pole but it doesn't use any string, just a bit of sewing.

I bought these vintage linen placemats at an auction.  They are off-white and very nice linen but a bit dull for most people.  I don't think they had been used much because they are like new.

With bomaki, you make a casing in the fabric to fit a pole.  I sewed a line of machine basting about 2 inches in from the edge.  If you were hand sewing, you would have to do something stronger than a running stitch. 

The trick is to get the casing tight enough but not too tight because you have to scrunch the fabric.  If it's too tight you won't be able to move it; too loose, and you won't get a strong design.  This is the fabric scrunched on a 4"pvc pipe.

The part of the fabric that is ruffled will come out a solid colour as will the edges at the top and bottom.  I dipped the pole in indigo dye a few times to get a good colour but it is often hard to know how much dye is going to sink in.  The tight compression will resist the dye and create  white spaces.  Since the 4 placemats were done separately they all came out a bit different. You can see where 2 of them absorbed more dye and have less white.

In this close-up, you can see the white line that was created by the basting which is another type of resistance.

They look beautiful with many colours of china.


It's a very easy technique to do with indigo dye but you could also use procion mx if you wanted a different colour.

Linking up with:

Seeking Lavender Lane

Pieced Pastimes

Finding Silver Pennies

The DIY Dreamer



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