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Introduction to Shibori Indigo Dyeing

Lesson 4 of 9

Testing the Dye Vats

Kaari Meng, French General

Introduction to Shibori Indigo Dyeing

Kaari Meng, French General

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Lesson Info

4. Testing the Dye Vats

Lesson Info

Testing the Dye Vats

So the indigo that's have now been sitting for the last hour and it's time now to take the bloom that has gathered all the oxygen is gathered in the center of the vat and it's time to take that off so we can start dipping are prepared fabrics so there are two ways you can take a bloom off of an indigo that, um the easiest way is to use a strainer and to dip in and take it off. Another great way is to use a cloth or a scarf and take it off with a piece of fabric and continue to take off your bloom throughout the use of your vat with the same piece of fabric and at the end of the day you end up with what's called a bloom scarf but today we are going to use our strainer and we're going to just go in and gently take off the bloom should come off pretty easily and then we'll just set it to the side in a bucket and we're going to wantto hold onto this bloom because at the end of the day if we want tio sharpen our vat or use are that again tomorrow will want to put the bloom back on top of th...

at so that it continues to collect oxygen but this is looking pretty clean and I think that we are ready to dip our fabrics into the end ago that so we're going to start by testing some fabrics, and I've got a piece of ham, pierre, and what we'll do is we will dip the hemp first into the water bucket just open up all the fibers, and then we're going to test the vat by slowly dropping the fiber into the vat, and when I pull it out, we're going to see the first example of how the fibers will oxidize and they will go from a yellow to a shade of green and eventually teo and indigo blue, so we're going to go ahead and dip the fabric in and then bring it out. You can see there's are yellow and it's slowly changing to a green, and eventually this will oxidized to a blue and depending on where you're doing your indigo dying, if you're outside, this process will happen very fast. And if you're inside, it takes a little bit longer, but the dye looks good, that looks good, it looks like it is slowly changing, and so I think we will. I think we'll start dipping our first technique that we did, which was the coup mo technique. Well, let this continue to oxidize, turn it this way so you can see it, and it'll slowly up oxidized to a blue.

Class Description

Shibori dyeing is a classic technique that makes a bold, modern statement. Learn the right way to dye in Introduction to Shibori Indigo Dyeing with Kaari Meng

Shibori is a bit more elegant (and complicated) than tie-dyeing. Indigo dye requires careful handling and in this class, Kaari will help you prepare for a successful dye job. You’ll learn how to: 

  • Create the indigo vats 
  • Prepare and dip the cloth
  • Ensure the color lasts

Kaari will demonstrate the Kumo technique, and show you how to wrap and prepare the fabric, and the best ways to build up color. You'll also learn the Itajime technique and how to block the patterns onto the fabric.

Introduction to Shibori Indigo Dyeing with Kaari Meng will cover everything you need to know to create truly unique, one of a kind pieces.

Class Materials

Bonus with Purchase

Intro to Shibori Supply List

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Kaari is such a great teacher! She outlines the basic process and steps in the indigo dye process, and encourages experimentation. I enjoyed hearing the traditional terminology, and learning more about how indigo dye interacts with different types of fabrics. Kaari provides lots of tips for adapting your process for different materials, so you always get a deep, rich blue dye. It really got me brainstorming: I started seeing all sorts of things around my house as potential resists for my dye projects! I love that indigo dye projects turn out different every time, and that this should be celebrated! As Kaari mentions, indigo dye projects have a wabi sabi aesthetic, and there really are no mistakes.


I came across this video a couple years ago and have been wanting to try it. The instructions and technique were very clear. We're going to include an eight year old in the project so it will be fun to see how creative she will get!

Annie Milligan

I found this class and this art form on a whim late at night and it has been such a fun project! I got the kit from French General and followed along with the videos and it couldn't have been easier. Everything is explained and demonstrated clearly and I can't wait to start the Intermediate class.