Itajime Shibori Dyeing Made Easy

Itajime is a form of shibori dyeing that uses clamped shapes to create the resist.

itajime shibori dyed fabric jewelry bag
Learn how to make this and other handmade gifts in the 2015 edition of Quilting Arts Holiday magazine.

Traditionally, the cloth was compressed between two pieces of wood held in place with string before starting the fabric dyeing process.

These days, shapes are generally made from acrylic or Plexiglas and are gripped with C-clamps. The shapes prevent the dye from penetrating into the fabric, creating distinctive patterns on the cloth.

The blue-and-white fabric featured in this project was hand dyed using our Itajime Fabric Dyeing Kit. The pattern on the fabric is achieved by a combination of folding and clamping reusable acrylic resist templates in any number of combinations. (You can find instructions on itajime fabric dyeing in the December/January 2009 issue of Quilting Arts and the December/January 2012 issue, too.)

You can adjust the distinctness of the patterns depending on the way you fold the fabric, the number of dye colors you use, and the clamping patterns. I like this simple, subtle style, but you can really go wild.

Another look at the Itajime Jewelry Pouch.

Some people resist itajime because they don’t know where to get the shapes, dyes, etc. But we’ve made it easy for you with our Welcome to the Fold Itajime Shibori Kit. It includes 12 shapes, dye, soda ash, and measuring tools.

You’ll find the directions for the Itajime Jewelry Pouch in the new issue of Quilting Arts Holiday 2015. It’s one of many gift and home décor projects for the holidays–or any time.

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P.S. I’m giving away this Itajime Jewelry Pouch I made to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment below, and I’ll choose a winner next Tuesday, August 18, 2015.

Other topics you may enjoy:


Easy Quilting, Fabric Painting & Dyeing, Quilting Daily Blog, Tools, Supplies & Resources

76 thoughts on “Itajime Shibori Dyeing Made Easy

  1. Wow! Having this kit put together with everything needed finally gives me the courage to try this on my own! Thank you! The jewelry bag is my favorite color. Gorgeous!!!

  2. Wow! Having the kit with everything put together finally gives me the courage to try this on my own! Thank you! The jewelry bag is my favorite color. Gorgeous!!!

  3. What a pretty bag, great idea to have separate bags for different types of jewelry. The dyeing technique seems a good way for a beginner to learn to dye fabric.

  4. I love the bag and it’s my favorite color. The free bag was a great idea!!! I had to learn how to add a comment. It draws people to your blog and they’re able to get more from the website!

  5. I enjoy my Daily Quilting Arts letter…usually I am one of the “invisible” readers. I read info but don’t respond, but I really like the block dying method and the colors used in this project.

  6. This little bag would be a wonderful gift for those friends/family who travel a lot. It would also make it easier for me to stop using clear plastic bags for my own jewelry! I could see so many other uses for the zipper bag as well. If you are a “doodler”, it would hold colored pens/pencils/crayons, etc.

  7. the itajime fabric is stunning and made up into the bag…well…its a jewel. I have not tried shibori fabric dying myself, but have long admired the results to those that have tried it. Thank you again for a brilliantly written blog. I do enjoy it so.

  8. Great post, and nice bag as well! I’m into my second summer of indigo dyeing and am just about to go dip some itajime pieces. I can definitely vouch for the technique and how easy and effective it is.

  9. The fabric looks like the shibori classes from the Create retreats last year taught by Cindy at Hands On Hand Dyes. They were amazing classes and Cindy’s kits have great instructions with them, along with phenomenal colors. I’ve used several of her kits and I’ve always lived the end results!

  10. The fabric looks like it came from the Create workshops last year that Cindy from Hands On Hand Dyes taught. I loved the classes and have used several of her kits and love them all. Cindy’s instructions in each kit make it so easy to dye my own fabric! The fabric is a great quality and the colors are rich and vivid. Love her products. Love the bag also!

  11. It is always easier when a kit is available. Thank you for the great post and beautiful project. I have been wanting to try this technique. Now, I have no excuse!

  12. It is always easier when a kit is available. Thank you for the great post and beautiful project. I have been wanting to try this technique. Now, I have no excuse!

  13. I love this project, I have see people using this type of dying but have never tried it myself. I think a small project like this is the perfect way to try shibori for the first time.

  14. I am excited to try this technique on my next round of dying. I’ve loved the results using PVC pipe but this adds to possibilities! Small variations will create a lot of unique fabric. Thanks for showcasing.

  15. This jewelry pouch is one of the best things I’ve seen put forth here as a gift idea. The Shibori dyed fabric makes it unique and very special!
    I am very attracted to this technique and am looking forward to trying it.

  16. I loved doing this in the days when my body wasn’t as unforgiving as it is now (pre-accident) and would love to do some more. The next best thing is admiring other people’s work and this one is admirable indeed.

  17. I have never heard of this type of dyeing method. I only know of the tie dye method. This method is very interesting and the pouch is simple but beautiful. Thank you so much for the giveaway.

  18. What a beautiful little jewelry pouch! It makes me smile remembering my dyeing adventures, and now I want to go back to dyeing and playing while the weather allows me to be outside.