Shibori turtle

As one of the turtle shells I’d seen reminded me of tie-dye, I wanted to use shibori to create a turtle pattern. Photos of the various stages below.

Pattern stitched on calico:

Stitching drawn up and bound:

After dyeing:

I’ve written before about how I think that shibori stitched and bound fabric before dyeing is very attractive in its own right – which is probably why I find the work of Michelle Griffiths so appealing.

Here I was particularly struck by the combination of the ruching and the “tentacles” of the bound piece. In fact, I did briefly consider not dyeing it at all, but just leaving it as it was! However, the temptation was too great.  🙂 And it turned out quite well, though the indigo vat was quite weak and the final colour is paler than I would have liked – I should have left it in for longer or dipped it again before untying.

But it’s made me want to explore further the potential of stitching and tying different fabrics without the dyeing. Here are a few examples using (from left, clockwise) polyester satin, printed cotton, polyester organza dyed in the heat press, and plain calico.

I think they could make attractive brooches or hair slides. However, I suspect there is a Chinese machine out there that can make one of these in about five seconds, without the sore fingers that result from all the pulling and tying!


Published by


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%.

4 thoughts on “Shibori turtle”

  1. Actually, it’s mostly running stitch, so it’s the sort of thing you can do while watching TV! The tying/binding is the hardest bit, especially on the fingers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.