Frivolous at Last shibori-dyed cotton gauze scarf

Happy as a Clam in a Vat of Indigo

Frivolous at Last shibori-dyed cotton gauze scarf

A couple of weeks ago I took a Shibori dyeing workshop at one of my local sewing studios, The Make Den. Three hours of folding, wrapping, twisting and dunking into this mess…

Bucket of indigo dye

…turned into this: yards of cool fabric plus a couple of scarves and tea towels.

Frivolous at last shibori-dyed fabric

Here are the scarves, made from white cotton gauze. The diamond pattern on the left was my favourite result so I did several pieces like this. The technique is to accordion-fold the fabric along its length, then fold it into triangles along its width and bind it up with dental floss, then dye it.

Frivolous at Last shibori-dyed cotton gauze scarves

The more random pattern on the right was created by wrapping and scrunching the fabric around a stick and binding it up with floss. I was too engrossed in my work to take in-progress pictures to give you a better sense of the process, but if you want more info on Shibori dyeing techniques this is a good introduction.

Frivolous at Last shibori-dyed cotton gauze scarf

I left the edges of the scarves completely raw. I have one or two other similar store-bought scarves that aren’t hemmed so this seems to be the thing to do with cotton gauze.

Frivolous at Last shibori-dyed cotton gauze scarf

Frivolous at Last shibori-dyed cotton gauze scarf

Funny side note: when I told my husband I was taking a dyeing workshop, he kinda paused and looked at me strangely. It took me a second to figure out what was up, but then I clarified: “A d-y-e-i-n-g workshop, not a d-y-i-n-g workshop!”

Frivolous at Last shibori-dyed cotton gauze scarf
I’m not dying yet!!!

I’m loving these light scarves as a great summer accessory, especially as just the right layer needed over bare shoulders after the summer sun goes down. This shade of blue is one of my very favourite colours!


Below is a cotton-linen blend that I dyed using the triangle fold technique. I’ve already turned some of this into a Papercut Patterns Skipper Tunic, which I’ll share with you soon.

Frivolous at last shibori-dyed fabric


And then some housewares….this bit of cotton below will probably become dinner napkins. Although, is that a bad idea with the white background? Probably. But I’ll do it anyway. 🙂 It was labelled as “drapery lining” but the woman at Designer Fabrics went straight to this when I told her I needed fabric for dyeing and turning into napkins. It has a much tighter weave than the other fabrics, and you can see how the dye didn’t penetrate as much, resulting in a different look. Maybe it will resist red wine spills, too??


And then some pre-made cotton tea towels. These are seeing a lot of use since my dishwasher broke down last week. 😦

Frivolous at last shibori-dyed tea towels

While I had a great time experimenting with indigo dyeing (despite my gloves breaking and having bluish fingernails for several days), I’m not hugely into the tie-dyed look for wearing. I think that’s why I gravitated more to the triangular pattern because it’s a little more geometric than a regular tie-dye. And it did make for the perfect fabric for a tunic…can’t wait to show it to you next time.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

— Lori


7 thoughts on “Happy as a Clam in a Vat of Indigo

  1. Love what you did. It always seems like magic. I really like the geometrics and love the one done on the stick. I could get lost in it. I’ll be doing a workshop at the end of the month and will cut out pieces for a dress, serge the pieces and then dye them. I’m so excited about the project. Will also do a big scarf as you have done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely results! This type of technique is so interesting, and if I could find a dyeing* seminar in my area I would be very interested. I think using your dyed fabric(s) for housewares is a fabulous idea–both for keeping AND for giving as gifts.

    *Honestly, I’d totally attend a “dying” workshop too…I sure wouldn’t want to be awkward at THAT when my moment arrives! 😉


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