Kumo and Kanoko Shibori

Today’s shibori techniques – Kumo and Kanoko.

Kumo (Japanese for spider) is a twist and bind resist technique. It involves binding fabric around objects or by pleating sections of the fabric very finely and evenly. The result is a very specific spider-like design.

Trial #1
1. Fabric cut 12″ x 90″.

2. Place a small pony bead on the fabric and bind with a 1/4″ rubber band (Orthodontic elastic). Continue binding beads to create the pattern that you would like.


3. Place the bound fabric in the bottom of a flat container.  Add Royal Blue dye (500 ml at 5 mg/ml).

4. Batch for 2 hours.

5. Rinse out excess dye with cold water. Wash with Blue Dawn in hot water.

Trial #2
1. Fabric cut 12″ x 90″.

2. Pull up sections of the fabric at one end of the piece and bind tightly with synthetic sinew. Fold and bind a larger section of fabric at the other end of the piece.


3. Place the bound fabric in the bottom of a container.  Add Lilac dye (500 ml at 3 mg/ml).

4. Batch for 2 hours.

5. Rinse out excess dye with cold water. Wash with Blue Dawn in hot water.  Resulting scarf is shown above.

Kanoko is what is commonly thought of as tie-dye. It involves binding certain sections of the cloth to achieve the desired pattern. The pattern achieved depends upon how tightly the fabric is bound and where the fabric is bound. If the cloth is first folded and then bound, the resulting circles will be a pattern created by the folds, creating a cross between a mandala and tie-dye.


Trial #3
1. Fabric cut 12″ x 90″.

2. Fold in triangles up the length of the fabric.

3. Bind the fabric in sections with synthetic sinew.

4. Soak in soda ash solution for 30 minutes.


5. Drip dye solution (25 mg/ml) on each section to form a color pattern.

6. Batch for 2 hours.


7. Rinse out excess dye with cold water. Wash with Blue Dawn in hot water.

 Trial #4
1. Fabric cut 36″ x 36″.

2. Fold the fabric as described for mandalas.

3. Pull fabric together in sections and bind with sinew.

4. Soak fabric in warmed soda ash solution for 30 minutes.

5. Place fabric in tray over bucket.

6. Cover with scrap fabric to collect undissolved dye particles.

7. Cover with 4″ of snow and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of mixed dye powder (Mixing Blue, Royal Blue, Turquoise  and Green).

8. Place lid over the bucket and allow to sit at room temperature until snow is melted.

9. Pour 250 ml of warm soda ash solution over the fabric to help set the dye.

10. Rinse fabric in cold water. Wash in hot water with blue Dawn soap. Rinse, dry and iron.

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