Materials List

Jane Callender



A variety of natural fibers fabrics – cottons, silk, linen, also silk brocades and jacquard silks bamboo, ramie. Avoid heavy calicos. 

Fine, loose weave cottons are good for itajime and cylinder wrapping and folding but not so good for stitching. Muslin and loose weave linen is good for itajime and cylinder wrapping and folding.

Fine cotton lawn, Medium weight cotton lawn, Medium weight cotton lawn

Prima cotton, Medium weight and heavier cottons are better for stitching – but not so good for itajime or cylinder wrapper.

For discharge techniques – black, light weight discharge cotton.


Habotai light, medium and heavy as standard. Various silks. Silk satin, silk georgette, noille

For degumming - silk organza folding and wrapping

¼ mt 100% Natural quilters wadding to be used for buffers. A natural commercial felt is also suitable


If you choose to use natural dyes, then the fabric needs mordanting. Alum – for proteins - silk (potassium aluminium sulphate) Aluminum acetate for cellulose, cotton


 Calculated to 200 grams of dry weight fabric

(1) 15/16 gms soda ash, 4 ml textile detergent.  Or (2) 12 gms of washing soda, 40 gms of pure soap

Pour between 1-3 litres of warm water into a stainless steel or enamel container (soda ash reacts with aluminium).  

Add the soda ash and mix, add the detergent and mix. Add some more water.

Add the fabric. Cover with plenty of warm water and turn in the solution. It should not be cramped.

Increase the temperature and simmer for about an hour and a half. 

Check continually to make sure that the fabric is submerged. Allow to cool before handling. Rinse away dirty water with hot water and repeat the process if necessary.  If the water is very dirty before time, cool, rinse and begin again. 

FPD (fabric prepared for printing) will not be so dirty, simmer for between ½ -1hour. Once cool enough give plenty of rinses in hot water then further rinses in progressively cooler water.  Do not add fabric conditioner. Allow to dry naturally.


Add a good half cup of soda ash or a cup of pure washing soda on top of the fabric in the drum.  Use the hottest wash program on the washing machine. Do not use fabric conditioner. One wash is suitable for FPD. Give an unprepared heavier cotton two washes. If one wash is given, dry and keep the fabric protected in a plastic folder or wallet. Label with process. Smaller pieces can be cut off to use for samples or smaller projects, but they should have a second scouring in a stainless-steel container as above prior to being dyed. This hot wash process also makes sure the fabric is fully shrunk. 


Shibori Supplies needed:  

Itajime boards: 2 of each size (sheet attached)- Bring a good selection from the attached sheet ( pairs)

Along with pairs of squares and oblongs please include triangles, particularly the isosceles ones on the left of the second page – these are for the hemp leaf patterns. 


A hole should be drilled at the top and base of the cylinder for securing string.  Each student should have two cylinders at their disposal at least. 

Size guide

·         16 cm diameter, 

·         11 cm diameter and

·         7-10 cm diameter.

·         Length approx. 50 – 60 cm long.

·         7 – 8 cm approx. 40 cm long.

Lengths all approximate.


Flexible plastic tubing – a small selection of 3, 5, 7 approx


Misc Shibori Equipment

·         Scissors

·         Seam ripper

·         Metal ruler

·         Pins

·         Various needles

·         String

·         Craft knife- exacto

·         Compasses

·         Triangles 45-90 degree

·         Protractor

·         Sketch pad

·         Graph paper

·         Tracing paper

·         Wishbone hook

·         Fabric marking pencils

It  is always difficult to be precise about the amount of fabric to bring. We all work at a different pace and favour different techniques.  

Indigo will only dye natural fabrics
100% COTTON fabric such as cotton lawn and cotton poplin are middle weight and ideal for stitching. But slightly heavier cottons such as matting cotton and lighter ones such as muslin are also suitable for other techniques. Avoid heavy calicos and tightly woven cottons as these are difficult to stitch – however they are good for wrapped blocking techniques. Avoid old sheeting as this tears. 
100 % SILK such as pongees or habotai which is a plain weave silk in various weights. Other suitable silks would be chiffon (tricky) Crepe de chine, silk georgette, noil – thicker but often has a loose weave, and organza – very fine. For the week aim to bring at least three meters of cotton and silk absolute minimum. Stitching takes time but the itajime technique on silk can use up fabric quickly. 

2 - 3 metres silk habotai, fine or medium or both (itajime, cylinder wrapping, binding) 
2 - 3 metres cotton lawn (itajime, cylinder wrapping and stitching and binding) 
1 -2 metre heavier weight cotton such as cotton poplin (stitching, and cylinder pleating, blocking
1 metre loose weave fine linen (cylinder wrapping, itajime) 
1 metre cotton muslin (cylinder wrapping, itajime) 
1 metre silk noil (stitching, cylinder wrapping) 
2 metres silk organza (stitching, itajime, cylinder wrapping, degumming,) 
And various other different weights etc as suggested above to compliment this basic requirement in
half metre or 40 x 40 cm squares for sampling. 
Also bear in mind that it is advantageous to dye up plain pieces of fabric to compliment your shibori projects at a later date.  
For the first day it is useful to have two or three some pieces cut to size for sample stitching on
cotton lawn and/or poplin.  40 cm sq or 30 x 50 cm.  ( approx 16" sqs)
SOFT PLASTIC TUBING – this is available from DIY stores where it can be cut from a length, or in
packs from pet shops.  
About 30 – 50 cm length of a selection of diameters of approximately 3, 5, 7 mm widths. This is for
the chikuwa shibori technique.  1/4"-3/8"- 15/16" x 18" long
This gives a fine water spray mist – helps when pulling up springy fabrics. 
Please contact me if you have any queries about requirements.