third grade shibori

Happy Mother's Day!

Shibori is the Japanese term for the dye-resist techniques of binding, clamping, or gathering cloth so that dye cannot reach certain parts. The result is a wonderful combination of carefully structured design with the organic freedom of the unpredictable. The third grade artists learned how to do a kumo (spider web) and tesuji (pleated) shibori technique. Why is shibori blue and how is the color and design related to Japan? Just ask one of our third grade artists!

I forgot to take photos of the process but it is very simple to do: we used white cotton fabric and waxed dental floss to tie the knots (I always love the look I get from the cashier when I buy 15 packages of dental floss at one time). I dye all of the pieces at once with indigo dye.

After spending a good part of our art time in making just 3-4 kumo shibori knots, I like to show them
a dvd that shows artisans creating shibori garments from start to finish. As we watch the kumo section, the kids ask me if the dvd is sped up because she ties so quickly! Her movements are so practiced she flows from one knot to the next. And soon we see a curl of hundreds of precisely bound knots in the fabric. We are impressed with the process!

This is another segment from the same dvd:

The third graders very carefully unfolded their kumo and tesuji shibori this week and were very impressed with the results! The tesuji was made to unfold into the perfect scarf for mother's day and they loved wrapping their art up for special gifts this weekend.


Chesterbrook Academy Elementary said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful project for Mother's Day.
Your students did fantastic job.

Hope Hunter Knight said...

Another inspiring project that I will certainly try! I would be so excited if my child gave me one of these for Mother's Day. Don't you just love Japanese art- it's my favorite.

Anonymous said...

awesome shannah. great inspiration! happy mother's day...to you and your shibori artists.

Mary said...

Thanks for introducing me to shibori. What a beautiful and unique gift for Mother's Day. I know those moms were thrilled!

{beth} said...

We did shibori this year too. We did pole wrapping Arashi. If you ever want to borrow PVC to try this, let me know. The kids loved it. What a great idea for Mother's Day.