Workshop no. 16: DIY Dyeing: Shibori Indigo Dyeing with Curious Corners

Shibori Dyeing With Curious Corners

For Rikumo Workshop no. 16, we were honored to host Sayaka Toyama from Curious Corners for three sold-out sessions of hands-on shibori dyeing. Sayaka Toyama came equipped with several years of experience in dyeing bold and beautiful examples of shibori, and she shared her trade secrets (and her Yamato Indigo Dye, which will be available for sale on rikumo.com shortly, and can be found here for now) with our eager students.

 Sayaka Toyama of Curious Corners

Sayaka Toyama of Curious Corners

In each of the 3 sessions, Sayaka explained the rich history of indigo dye and shibori in Japan, where some of the earliest examples date back to the tenth century. She taught us how indigo dye is created and displayed samples of natural indigo plants that she passed around the table. We learned about several traditional patterns, and Sayaka very briefly showed us how to fold our fabric in order to create the desired effect. The brief demonstration was to encourage encourage creativity from the crafters:

Try not to plan too much... It will almost never turn out like you planned.
— Sayaka Toyama
 Raw fermented indigo

Raw fermented indigo

From there, the participants tried their hand at folding their scarves, tote bags, and bandanas before wrapping, clamping, and twisting the fabric with an array of tools that were provided. Once everyone was happy with their design, we took turns washing, dunking, massaging, oxidizing, and finally rinsing the fabric before unveiling our creations to the store. 

 Learning to fold

Learning to fold

 Massaging and oxidizing the fabric

Massaging and oxidizing the fabric

 The big reveal

The big reveal

Thanks to everyone that came out and made this workshop so fun! If you'd like to see an abbreviated how-to be sure to see our post on Yamato Indigo here