Shibori is a cloth resist-dyeing technique that may include binding, stitching, folding, twisting, or clamping.  This labor intensive method has been used to dye patterns on silk in Japan since the eighth century. The pictures on this web page were taken in the Shibori Museum in Kyoto, Japan.

To produce kanoko shibori, sketch a motif, produce a pattern with holes where the cloth will be tied, then transfer the pattern. Grab the cloth where it is marked, then wrap and tie it with thread (to keep the dye from penetrating). Dye and steam the cloth, then remove the threads to reveal a pattern where the dye did not penetrate. The texture from the binding provides a wonderful texture.


Pierced kanoko pattern

Marked kanoko cloth

Kanoko shibori may be tied only by hand or with the help of a tying stand.

With oke zome (tub resist) shibori, after the cloth (not to be dyed) is put inside the tub, it is clamped tightly, then placed in the dye bath. Steamer (steam sets the dye)

Tied kanoko shibori

Finished kanoko shibori

A variety of shibori patterns are possible, depending upon how the cloth is tied and dyed.

With ori-nui shibori, small stitches are sewn and pulled, the cloth is dyed, steamed, and then the stitches are removed.

With oboshi shibori, small stitches are sewn onto cloth and then pulled around a core. The bundles are then capped with plastic and bound, then the cloth is dyed and steamed. The binding and stitches are then removed to produce resist patterns more than 2 1/4 inches wide.

Another type of stitched, capped, and bound shibori.

Small stitches are sewn and pulled, then only the center is dyed.
The store / museum also has hands-on Kyo-Kanoko Shibori two-hour classes. For more information, please contact:

Kyoto Tie-Dyeing Museum /
Kyoto Shibori Kogeikan
Minami-saguru Aburanoko-ji Oike
Kyoto, Japan

Telephone: 075-221-4252    Fax: 075-221-4253

Papermaking in Kurotani, Japan 
Katazome (stencil dying) in Kyoto, Japan
Batik of Java and Bali, Indonesia
Ikat Weaving in Bali
Printing in China 
Batik in Cameroon  
Backstrap Woven Ikat in Mexico  
Footloomed Woven Ikat in Mexico  

Recommended Books:
Textile Art of Japan by Sunny Yang and Rochelle M. Narasin
Shibori by Wada, Rice, and Barton

Web page, photographs, and text by Carol Ventura in 2005. Please look at Carol's home page to see more about crafts around the world.