Shibori in a heat press

When using the heat press last week, I suddenly wondered whether it might work with stitched shibori. After all, we were using it as a method of dyeing, transferring colour from dye papers to fabric.

So I stitched three concentric hexagons over folds in a piece of polyester satin, but didn’t pull the stitches tight, unlike with indigo dyeing. Because the fabric is being pressed flat, the stitching alone should prevent the dye from reaching the fabric caught within the fold.

Then I tried to lay the fabric as flat as possible on the heat press (not very easy, as the stitching causes the fabric to pucker around the edges), put a piece of dye transfer paper on top, and pressed for 30 seconds.

The photo above shows the fabric after removing the stitches but before pressing.

The photo above is after pressing; the photo below is a close-up.

As you can see, even after pressing, the fabric retains a furrowed texture, and you get some interesting puckers around the stitching and the edges where it refused to lie flat.


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Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

7 thoughts on “Shibori in a heat press”

  1. hiya! nice work! i came across your website trying to find dye transfer paper to use in the heat press. I had worked with them years back but now I just can’t seem to find them… Where do you get yours? thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Anja,

      Penny Marriott in Leeds sells heat transfer dye papers.

      Aletneratively, you can buy Dysperse dyes from Kemtex, which you dissolve in water and use to paint your own designs on cartridge paper. You then use this in the same way as heat transfer dye paper.


      1. Hey Kim,
        Ive been trying to get some products from Penny Marriott but can’t find her website and your link is no longer working. I don’t suppose you have her new website address?

      2. Hi Blue,

        This is quite an old post – sorry the link isn’t working any more. I’m not really a heat transfer expert so I don’t know where Penny has gone or any other suppliers of sublimation paper.

        However, there are suppliers of disperse dyes that you mix up and paint onto paper to make your own sublimation papers. The advantage of these is that you can mix them to make your own colours.

        Good luck!

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