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Crafts

How to Make an Ori-Nui Shibori Wall Hanging

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Create a gorgeous pattern on silk fabric using stitch-resist shibori (called ori-nui) and natural indigo dye. Then just add a few more stitches to create a lovely wall hanging for your home! 

Supplies

Shibori supplies
Shibori supplies 2

  • White silk crepe de chine fabric (or other natural cloth)
  • Scissors
  • A wood rod
  • Twine
  • Rubber bands
  • Two wood sticks for binding
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Latex gloves
  • Apron
  • 20g of pre-reduced indigo, 250g of reducing agent (thiox or hydrosulfate) and 250g of soda ash, which you can find in this indigo dye kit
  • 19L (5 gallon) plastic bucket with a lid
  • Stick for stirring (make sure it's long enough to reach the bottom of your bucket)
  • Small container for the foam/"flower"
  • Sheet of plastic to cover the floor
  • Shallow pan to hold your fabric

1. Prepare the Indigo Dye

First, you need to set up the indigo vat. Just follow the step-by-step instructions we prepared for you in this Shibori Fundamentals tutorial. If you plan to use fabric dye and not natural indigo, you can follow the instructions in the second part of this Ne‑maki tutorial

Once your indigo vat is set, cover the bucket with a lid and let the dye settle for between 15 minutes and one hour. During this time you can stitch and bind your fabric.

Set up the indigo vat

2. Stitch the Fabric

Step 1

First of all, you will need a strip of fabric of natural cloth, which is a prerequisite for dyeing with natural indigo dye. It is also best for this specific shibori technique, where stitching is used to create the design, to use a thin cloth which pleats easily, and this is why silk is the ideal choice.

Keep in mind that the width of your strip should be about the width of your rod. In my case it is about 50 cm (19.7 in) and I kept the length of the fabric. But the dimensions are not restrictive for this specific project. You can alter them based on the final shape you want your wall hanging to have. Just make sure the fabric is cut straight.

Strip of fabric

Step 2

Let's get to work. Thread your needle. Keep in mind that you need a long piece of thread, the longest possible with which you can easily stitch.

Thread your needle

And make a double knot using both edges. Then trim off the excess thread.

make a double knot using both edges

You will stitch along the long edges of your fabric with a running stitch. This stitch is the basic stitch for hand sewing and embroidery, and it is worked by passing the needle in and out of the fabric.

So, start from one corner of the lower edge of your fabric and pass your needle downwards and then bring it back upwards. You can decide on the length of your stitches. Start your stitches about 5 cm (2 in) from the edge (mine are too close to the edge here).

Start stitching

Step 3

Stitch the lower edge of your fabric. It helps to straighten the fabric as you stitch along to make sure you keep a straight path.

Stitch the lower edge of your fabric

You can also make more than one stitch at once to go faster.

make more than one stitch at once

Step 4

Then stitch the upper edge of your fabric. Always try to keep the stitching parallel to the edge of your fabric.

stitch the upper edge of your fabric

3. Bind It

Step 1

Now place your finger at the end of the stitching and gently pull the thread through. The fabric will gather close to your finger and will get pleated.

pull the thread through

Step 2

Repeat the same process on the upper part of your cloth.

Repeat the same process on the upper part of your cloth

And it will look like a cocoon.

it will look like a cocoon

Step 3

Pull the thread and knot it to secure it in place. Try to keep the fabric bound as tightly as possible.

Pull the thread and knot it to secure it in place

This is how the pleats you created will look.

Pleated fabric

There'll be a zig zag formation on the edge.

zig zag formation in the fabric

Step 4

Now squeeze the center of your cocoon.

squeeze the center of your cocoon

And fold it in the middle.

fold it in the middle

Bring the two edges together and completely fold your fabric.

Bring the two edges together and completely fold your fabric

Step 5

Place a small wood stick on each side of the folded cloth.

Place a small wood stick on each side of the folded cloth

Step 6

Take a rubber band and bind the fabric together with the wood sticks.

Take a rubber band and bind the fabric together with the wood sticks

Do this on the other side as well.

Rubber band on the other side

Cool, now your fabric is stitched, tightly bound and ready to get dyed!

Tightly bound fabric

4. Dye It

Step 1

First soak the fabric in water and squeeze it to remove excess water and air.

Squeeze the fabric

Step 2

Your indigo vat should have settled by now. Open it and remove the "flower"/foam. Wear gloves and dip the fabric into the vat.

dip the fabric into the vat

Gently remove the fabric from the vat, place the foam/"flower" back on the surface of the dye and close the bucket with a lid.

remove the fabric from the vat

Step 3

At first, the fabric will look green.

Fabric looking green

But it will oxidize through contact with air, and it will turn indigo blue.

Fabric turns blue

Let the fabric completely oxidize for about 20 minutes. You can repeat the process if you think you need a deeper hue.

Leave the fabric to oxidize and turn deeper blue

4. Unbind, Wash and Dry

Step 1

Once your fabric has the hue of blue you want, rinse it.

Rinse the fabric

Step 2

Remove the rubber bands.

Remove the rubber bands

Also remove the wood sticks and open it up.

remove the wood sticks and open it up

Step 3

Now, remove the knot and pull the thread through to unstitch it. This is the most rewarding moment; enjoy!

Open up the fabric
Open the fabric wider

Step 4

Gently hand-wash your silk fabric with mild detergent in warm water.

Gently hand-wash your silk fabric

Step 5

And let it dry in the shade.

Let it dry in the shade

5. Stitch It and Hang It

Step 1

To create the hem, first fold the long edge of the fabric inwards twice. Make sure to keep the folds really thin, especially if you stitched as close to the edge as I did, because you don't want to hide the design created by the stitching. Pin along the fold.

Now, stitch both hems. You can either do this by hand if your fabric is really delicate, or by using a thin needle on your sewing machine. Use either white thread or blue that's close to the color of your dye.

Stitch the hems
Stitched hem

Step 2

Once sewn, iron the fabric carefully on the correct setting (silk).

Iron the fabric

Step 3

Now place the fabric vertical on the working surface, meaning the short edge placed horizontally. Bring the upper edge downwards and create a horizontal fold of about 3 cm (1.2 in).

Create a horizontal fold

Step 4

Once you are sure the fold is straight, pin the fabric in place.

Pin the fabric in place

Step 5

Stitch along the edge of the fabric. This will create a horizontal tube for the rod.

Stitch along the edge of the fabric

Ta-dah!

Finished product

Step 6

Now you just need to create the upper part of your hanging. Just slide the rod through the tube you created by stitching, and center it to the cloth.

create the upper part of your hanging

Step 7

Cut off a long piece of twine about 1.5 m (60 in).

Cut off a long piece of twine

This will be used to make a loop from which you can hang the wall hanging.

make a loop from which you can hang the wall hanging

Tie the twine around the left edge of the rod and knot it there to secure it place.

Tie the twine around the left edge of the rod

Leave a bit of twine (almost twice as long as the width of the fabric) and secure the second edge in the same way. Now you not only have a way to hang your wall hanging, but also your fabric is secured in place.

Attach the second edge

Deck the Halls!

Now just hang your shibori wall hanging on the wall and deck the halls. You can add a few nice objects around it to make a synthesis on the wall, with your new shibori hanging as the central piece. 

In this tutorial you learned how to create stitch-resist patterns using the ori-nui shibori technique. And also how to stitch a lovely wall hanging for your home!

Ready, steady, indigo! Follow my Shibori for Beginners series of tutorials and learn how to tie-dye with me.

Finished Shibori wall hanging
Shibori wall hanging in place on the wall
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