Fabric Dyeing Techniques: Itajime Shibori

Lynn used round resist shapes and itajime shibori to overdye this blue fabric.

There’s something special about hand-dyed fabric that makes it hard to resist.

With so many techniques to try, the possibilities for dyed fabric are truly endless. I particularly like the aspect of experimentation involved when dyeing fabric. For me, dyeing is a great way to try new techniques and dyes without expectation. Some fabrics are gorgeous after one process and others need a couple more rounds in the dye, and that’s ok.

The nice part is fabric dyeing techniques, especially shibori techniques, are not nearly as complicated as you might think. Today Lynn Krawczyk stops by with easy directions for using pressure as a resist while dyeing fabric.

Let’s Learn Wax Free Resist Dyeing: Pressure Resist
by Lynn Krawczyk

Pressure resist, also known as itajime, blocks dye by applying pressure to different areas of the fabric. You can create complex designs depending on how the fabric is folded or make simple prints that lend themselves to further printing and embellishing. I especially like this technique as a way to overdye prints I’m not totally in love with.


1. Soak the fabric and wring it out so it is damp.

2. Fold the fabric as desired.

3. Place the resist shapes on the bottom and top of the fabric so they line up with each other. Clamp them together, with the clamps near the edges so that the pressure is distributed evenly around the perimeter of the shape.

4. Fill a small squeeze bottle with dye. Dilute the dye with water if you want a lighter color.

5. Place the clamped fabric into a tray and squirt the dye on the fabric outside of the clamped shape. Allow it to dry completely.

6. Remove the clamps and rinse the fabric in cold water until all of the excess dye has been removed.

Pretty easy, right? Are you ready to give it a try?

itajime-jewelry-pouchYou’re in luck; this month’s featured kit includes everything you need to get started! Use the 3 yards of prepared-for-dyeing fabric, 12 sets of acrylic resist shapes, and the Procion® MX indigo dye to make your own hand-dyed fabric. If that weren’t enough, the Itajime Shibori Fabric Dyeing Kit also includes two eBooks filled fabric dyeing techniques and tips, plus the 2015 issue of Quilting Arts Holiday which features instructions for the Itajime Jewelry Pouch pictured to the right. A kit this great is sure to sell out fast, so don’t wait to order yours!

Happy dyeing!

Brenna's Signature

P.S. For more wax-free resist dyeing methods, be sure to get your copy of the June July issue of Quilting Arts Magazine or download the digital issue today.

Other topics you may enjoy:


Fabric Painting & Dyeing, Quilting Daily Blog