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How to Make a Shibori Silk Scarf

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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Nautical and elegant, Blue and white stripes are summery. Make this striped beauty using the basicshiboriTechnique of the accordion fold for a contemporary result. Follow ourshibori for beginners series and learn this ancient technique - which just happens to be the hottest look in fashion and homewares this season.  


  • Latex gloves
  • Apron
  • Which you can find in this, 250g of reducing agent (thiox or hydrosulfate) and 250g of soda ash, 20g of pre-reduced indigoindigo 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
  • White silk crepe de chine fabric (or other natural cloth)
  • Scissors
  • Two wood blocks longer than the width of your scarf. Two old 50cm rulers (20in) would work
  • Rubbers bands
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

1. Prepare the Indigo Vat

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

Which is the optimum length of time, cover the bucket with a lid and let the dye settle from 15 minutes to one hour, Once your indigo vat is set. During this time you can fold and bind your fabric

1. Fold the Scarf

Step 1

Cut your fabric in to a strip slightly bigger than the scarf you want to create. Keep the length of your fabric, which will be probably 1. 5m (59in), as the length of your scarf and cut a strip of about 35cm (13. 8in) as the width. The end result will be about 30cm (12 in) wide. Once you have the perfectly cut strip, lay it down on the floor

Step 2

Start folding the strip of fabric into the accordion fold. First lift the left edge and fold it to the right

Now is a good time to measure your pleats. Place your wood block- the old ruler in my case - on your fold. Check that the folded fabric is bigger than your wood block and there is excess fabric on both sides. Imagine that this section will be the colored area of your scarf

Start folding your scarf in an accordion way, Now that you are sure about the size of your pleats. Lift the end of your first fold together with the fabric underneath and fold them both towards the right

Place them gently down and ensure that your pleats are aligned and of the same size

Step 3

Moving towards the right, Keep on folding the fabric back and forth. Keep holding the fabric with both hands as silk pleats can be a bit tricky. Your fabric should look like a zig-zag, Keep in mind that from the side. Got it right

You should have a neat pile of accordion-folded fabric, When you've reached the end of your fabric

2. Bind the Scarf

Step 1

Place one wood block (ruler) on top of your accordion-folded silk strip. Then carefully lift the fabric and place the second ruler on the other edge, exactly underneath the top one

Step 2

Center the fabric with your wood blocks so that there is extra length in the wood blocks on both sides. Place one rubber band on each end to tightly clamp the fabric in between the two blocks

Your silk scarf should now be clamped within your wood blocks. This is how it should look from the side. You can make any necessary adjustments on the pleats at this point, If you wish

2. Rinse and Dye the Scarf

Step 1

Thoroughly soak the fabric in water and squeeze the excess water and air out of it. Now it's ready for the next step

Step 2

Set it aside and keep it for later, remove the lid and scoop the foam/"flower" from the top of the vat, Once the vat has settled

Your wood blocks and scarf are probably longer than your bucket. Submerge one end of your fabric bundle into the dye first, So. Move the block carefully inside the vat to make sure all the uncovered areas are equally colored

Then turn it around and insert the other side of the block into the dye. Make sure you leave both sides of your fabric block in the dye for the same amount of time, to ensure you get the same hue.  

Step 3

Gently remove your bound fabric from the dye bath. You will notice that it is green in the beginning and as it oxidizes it gradually gets blue. The other end of your wood block has probably turned blue already.  

Carefully place the lid on the bucket to close and let your fabric dry and oxidize for about 20 minutes. You can repeat the dyeing process to achieve a darker shade of blue, Once it is done

3. Unfold and Wash

Step 1

Rinse your fabric with warm water, If you are happy with the result

Step 2

Remove the rubber bands to unclamp the fabric, Now

And remove the wood blocks

Step 3

Now it's time to unfold your fabric to reveal your own unique pattern. This is always the most exciting part of the process

Unfold your fabric

And. Gorgeous indigo stripes

I love the fact that the pattern is geometric but it has natural organic variations at the same time.  

Step 4

Now, gently hand-wash your scarf with mild detergent in warm water

Step 5

Let it dry in the shade. The color will be lighter, Once dry

4. Stitch the Edges

Step 1

Can't wait to wear it. Just one more step to go. Hem the scarf and stitch along the long edges of the scarf. The short edges already done since you used the edge of the fabric.  

First fold the long edge of the fabric upwards, To create the hem

Fold once more inwards

Step 2

Pin along the fold

Step 3

Stitch both hems, Now. You can either do this by hand if your fabric is really delicate or by using a thin needle on your sewing machine

Step 4

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

Step 5

Now your scarf is ready to wear and enjoy the summer breeze

Stripey Beauty!

In this tutorial you learned how to use the basic accordion fold to create a striped indigo scarf. The accordion fold it is one of the easiest shibori methods, which creates endless designs when clamped with wood blocks

Can't get enough of indigo. Follow myShibori for Beginners seriesOf tutorials and learn how to tie-dye with me

Read more: How to Make a Shibori Silk Scarf

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