Traditional shibori textile technique with Rob Jones

Art textiles

Ref: S3D11139


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About this course

Learn a selection of traditional Japanese shibori resist dyeing techniques including Shin Ire (rope core work) and techniques incorporating both stitching and binding together, including Makiage, Guntai and Komasu shibori.

Course Description

The ancient art of Shibori resist has been practised in Japan for over 1500 years. Traditional patterns were used to decorate kimono, often requiring many hours of stitching and binding to create elaborate repeating patterns.

The course focuses on learning traditional methods of creating patterns using appropriate tools. It will give you the skills to develop your own patterns and further develop your ideas at home.

During the class you will learn:

•The basic Shibori stitching and binding methods, including the key knots needed for clean patterns

•How to use a flexible core and a traditional Shin Ire bamboo stand to produce three traditional, hand-pleated patterns: Tesuji stripes; Yanagi willow; Hinode sunrise

•How to combine Shibori stitching and binding together to create repeating patterns:

Makiage (stitched outlines, Kumo spiderweb centres); Guntai - military Shibori (stitch and bind as you go); Komasu - diamond Shibori (combining folding, stitching and binding)

•How to design your own repeating patterns with templates

•How to make and maintain an indigo vat and dye with indigo.

Examples of traditional Shibori fabrics and the tutor’s own work will be provided for inspiration.

You will prepare a number of sample pieces, which could then be used in your own projects, for example for patchwork quilting. Basic sewing skills are required and some previous experience of Shibori would be useful, but is not essential.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will provide some of the materials including the indigo and associated chemicals.

What students need to bring

  • 2M white quilting cotton
  • 2M white linen (vintage French linen works well if you have it)
  • 1M fine cotton lawn
  • All fabrics must be pre-washed to remove any chemicals (detergent, no soft rinse) or pre-bought as PFD (prepared for dyeing)
  • Other fabric can be brought if desired but students will need to check its suitability with the tutor before using
  • Cat litter tray
  • Large bucket with lid
  • Stirrer
  • 60s weight bonded nylon thread (available from eBay)
  • Scissors (small, sharp pair and dress making scissors)
  • Long darner/long sewing needles
  • Rubber gloves (to cover wrist, e.g. Marigolds)
  • Apron
  • Cardboard (cereal packet boxes) and paper scissors for making templates
  • Ruler and pen
  • Camera and notebook to record work
  • Optional: Plastic jerry can to take home leftover indigo

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Fabric
  • Available from tutor:
  • The tutor will have some fabric and dyes to purchase


Rob Jones

Rob Jones is a textile artist, who takes his inspiration from Japanese Textiles traditions including Shibori, Katagami stencilling and Sashiko embroidery and Boro. He began his study in 2011 at West Dean on short courses and then undertook an intensive course with Bryan Whitehead in Japan in the autumn of 2014. Rob has been a full time textiles designer and teacher since September 2015.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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