Shibori by Lynne Caldwell

By | 19 December 08

Shibori, A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Color & Texture on Fabric by Lynne Caldwell is one of the better books written for artists interested in learning the art of shibori from beginning to some intermediate techniques.


  • Comprehensive lists of tools, materials and techniques for four types of shibori
  • Very good step-by-step instructions accompanied by clear photos and illustrations
  • Exciting projects designed to show practical and creative applications for garments and household accessories

caldwell-shiboriFor those who don’t know, Shibori is the ancient Japanese art of dyeing cloth using various methods of manipulating fabric to create areas that will resist the dye bath, producing an exciting variation of patterns and textures, in other words, Japanese tie-dye.

This book deals with four different shibori methods: folding and clamping, arashi – pole-wrapping, bound resists and stitching and gathering. These four methods provide an endless variety of patterns and textures, limited only by the artist’s imagination. It is almost magical to unfold the fabric and discover the exciting and beautiful textures, resulting in designer fabrics that can be used in countless projects of textile design.

The author provides an introduction to the types of dyes and fabrics used, and comprehensive lists of inexpensive and easily obtained tools and materials to create unique designs in fabric. An introduction to each of the shibori methods outlines the procedure and illustrates the effect, then is followed by step-by-step instructions accompanied with clear and concise how-to illustrations and photos of finished examples.

The possibilities in patterns and color combinations in shibori are unlimited and this book offers many, including combinations of the techniques, finishing instructions and project suggestions. The manipulation of fabric and dyes in the shibori methods is unpredictable, exciting and rewarding, and addicting once you have started to experiment.

This book is a fabulous resource for artists who wish to learn the basics of shibori and advance to intermediate techniques and projects.

PROS: Rich in material to start any artist into the magical art of shibori.

CONS: The realm of dyes, dyeing procedures is complex in itself and the beginning dyer may need additional reference to learn the dye/fabric combinations best suiting the artist’s ideas. However, the sources of information on this subject are plentiful, including information from the supplier sources listed in the book.

As a working textile artist, I highly recommend this book as an efficient learning tool and reference book to keep on the shelf.


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