Friday, July 9, 2010

Rope Wrap Shibori

Last year, I did a lot of experimenting with 'pole wrap shibori', with mixed results. I finally tried it on a 5 gallon bucket, and was able to get good results, but it's a lot of work and uses a lot of sinew. And it never really gave me the design I was hoping for, which is a 'water' design. Well, recently I bought a dyers book, 'Fabric Dyer's Dictionary' by Linda Johansen, which mostly focuses on dye recipes, but in the back she has instructions on how to create several patterns, including 'Rolling on a Rope'... guess what? It creates water textures! Here is a shirt I did using this technique:

I used a four foot section of 3/4" nylon rope to roll the shirt around, then loosely rubber banded the ends and middle, and scrunched the shirt together. Then I poured over the dyes, let it sit for an hour, added soda ash solution and batched for another hour, then rinsed/laundered. I will be using this technique a lot more, and may need to get some more rope! Fun and very simple!

Update: I am adding a photo of a coverup currently batching that I rolled and dyed the same as the shirt above. Hopefully, this will help you to visualize the process a little better. See comments below.


  1. The visual texture of the shirt is very unusual. Did you roll the shirt along the rope like rolling up a tube - like a burrito? Or did you pleat or scrunch the shirt first then wrapped it. When I wrap shirts the inside doesn't get much dye. While you got the whole shirt to dye.

  2. Hi, Anon... Sorry, I should have posted a picture of the process as well! I'm going to edit the post to add a picture of one I am currently batching. I loosely rolled a coverup over the rope, then rubber banded the ends and middle, then scrunched the garment together. I used to have the problem of almost no coverage when I used pvc pipe, but I was wrapping tightly. With the rope, I am able to keep the roll looser, which allows the dye to soak through the layers better. Hope that helps!

  3. Yes, that helps. Thanks

  4. Love this technique Judy. I'm going to give it a try next time I work on a batch.