Traditional shibori textile technique with Rob Jones

Art textiles

Ref: S3D12131

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About this course

Learn a selection of traditional Japanese shibori techniques to create patterned fabrics, using stitching and binding. You will be taught Shibori basics, Guntai and Makiage, Mokume, Komasu and Shin-Ire rope core work, before dyeing with traditional indigo.

Course Description

Shibori is the Japanese word for resist dyeing of fabric. Working with a variety of traditional techniques, you will create patterned fabrics, using stitching and binding, boards, clamps, templates and poles, before dyeing with traditional indigo. Each piece of fabric will be unique, allowing for creative exploration in your own textile work.

Working with a variety of techniques and then dyeing the fabrics produces amazing textures and effects for use in textile art. Each piece of fabric will be unique, allowing for creative exploration in your own work.

You will explore a wide variety of Shibori techniques to pattern cloth, using stitch, binding, clamping, pleating and wrapping, and be encouraged to try ideas of your own.

Following a recap of the basics of stitching and binding, you will learn advanced stitch techniques, including: traditional patterns – Mokume (Woodgrain), Guntai (stitch and bind as you go) and Shine-Ire (rope core work, using a traditional shibori stand); Makiage (stitched motifs) and Komasu (pleat, stitch and bind).

After preparation, your work will be dyed with indigo to produce a range of blues. You will produce a range of fabrics to keep as a visual record for future reference. Demonstrations, discussions and tutorials will be ongoing throughout the course and encouragement given on how to continue with your work at home or in your studio.

The only pre-requisite is that you’ll need to have some hand sewing skills and dexterity for using thread.

Please note that this course may not be suitable for those with nut allergies or sensitivity to dye plants.


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 until 9pm, 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

  • Fabric: Gather a collection of plain natural cellulose fabrics to use to dye. Fabrics, such as: cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo and viscose (or combinations of these) work best. You can also dye silk and wool too, so bring some of these if you wish. Threads can also be dyed. If you like to recycle fabrics, consider bringing some; they often take the dye beautifully.
  • Please bring one metre of cotton lawn.
  • Shirting and quilting cottons are excellent for stitch resist work.
  • You can also bring pre-hemmed scarves, should you wish to dye a piece to wear.
  • Pre-wash fabrics in non-biological washing product (unless they are PFD – prepared for dyeing) and dry. Do not use fabric softener.
  • A large sealable bucket with a lid (25l)
  • An apron and rubber gloves – wear old clothes
  • Wooden stick, dowel or short piece of bamboo (one inch diameter, approx. two feet long) to stir the vat
  • Air or water erasable marker pen
  • Ruler, notepad and pen and digital camera
  • A cushion (This will be used for Shin-Ire core work with a stand, so make sure it’s comfy, as you will be sitting on it.)
  • Bonded nylon thread (60s weight) to use for tying and stitching. Get a dark colour, so you can see your stitching.
  • Sewing kit – scissors, needles, etc. You need a long, THIN darner.
  • Unpicker
  • A large jerry can will be provided, should you wish to take your indigo home with you.
  • The tutor will bring a selection of items for the class to use, such as: templates, pegs, clips and poles for some of the Shibori techniques. If you have any others of your own, please bring them.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Some fabrics
  • Household needles
  • Fabric marker pens
  • Unpicker/Seam ripper
  • Needle threader (optional)
  • Available from tutor:
  • The tutor will bring some additional fabrics, including Vintage French linen fabric, for you to purchase, if you wish. The cost should be reimbursed to the tutor before the end of the course.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


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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