Sunday, May 11, 2014

Shibori scarves for Mother's Day

I hope that all my second graders' moms enjoyed receiving their handmade gifts today! I was inspired by this post from New City Arts and knew it would be a perfect fit for my Asian art unit in second grade. Shibori is a fabric dyeing technique that involves folding and binding the cloth before it is dipped in traditional indigo dye. There are many techniques that can be used - we tried three different folds - the flag fold (triangles), the fan or accordion fold, and the dowel roll. 

Each one is bound, traditionally with knotted string, but we used rubber bands; also wooden clothespins or Popsicle sticks help with the binding. The kids wet their cloth before dunking in the dye, then we let them dry in the sun. The cloth looks greenish when it first comes out, then it begins to tun blue as it dries.


The following week we unwrapped, ironed, and folded them for presentation - each one is totally unique and beautiful tones of indigo. I can imagine these worn as neck scarves, hair wraps, belts or even table runners. Enjoy moms!

This is one of the flag folds:

This is a fan fold:

This is a dowel roll, which reminds me of rain clouds:

We packed them with cards and care instructions:


  1. These are lovely! Where did you get your scarves and indigo dye? I buy silk scarves and dyes from Dharma Trading, but that can get a bit expensive. Are yours cotton or silk?

    1. Charmaine, these are made from simple cotton muslin that I ordered from an art supply catalog by the yard. Nothing fancy at all - I just measured and cut the long strips. I also used one kit of indigo dye that lasted all week, so it wasn't very expensive at all.

    2. Everything came from Dick Blick, btw.

  2. OMG Hope! Fibers and fabrics are my obsession and these are gorgeous! How many 2nd graders do you have? What a beautiful gift for their Moms! And the blue! Blue is my favorite color! This one is a show stopper! :) :)

  3. So glad you like it Mrs. C! I have 4 groups of 2's, each class is about 22 I think. It was surprisingly easy and quick - I will be doing it again for sure. The only downside was the smell of the dye - pretty smelly, so working outside is a plus.

  4. Excellent work!! I want one!!

  5. Do you happen to still have the wording for the mother's day card/care instructions

    1. “This Shibori scarf is blue -
      Made with love just for YOU!”
      Shibori is an Asian fabric dyeing technique using folded and wrapped cloth, dipped in indigo dye, which comes from a plant.
      It can be used as a scarf or a table runner.
      Please hand wash separately, as this is a hand-dyed textile.
      Made in art class by


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    Silk Scarves UK

  7. When did you rinse these out? Did the kids help?


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