Indigo Shibori with Natural Dyes

Learn the fascinating art of Indigo Shibori, using natural dyes to create crisp and organic patterns on cloth.

You will learn the traditional Shibori techniques of Arashi and Bomaki (pole wrapping), Itajime (Clamping), stitching, binding and wrapping.

After preparing your fabrics, learn how to dye with Indigo, as well as a variety of natural dyes, including tea, onion skins, madder, mangrove root, gardenia and iron to produce an array of colours. In addition, the plant-dyeing process will reveal imprints from an array of flowers and leaves.

You’ll finish the course with a fine collection of scarves, fabric pieces and clothing items.

  • Full days - Monday to Friday - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Suitable for ages 16 to adult
  • Everyone
  • Nearly full

Course Info

More experienced students will learn advanced techniques and combinations to create more complex Shibori patterns.

You’ll finish the course with several scarves, fabric pieces and clothing items.


Day One

  1. Set up Indigo vats – view samples of tutors work for ideas/understanding, history of Shibori
  2. Learn and practise Shibori techniques on the fabric of your own choice
  3. Procedure for dyeing fabric in the vats
  4. Apply Shibori techniques to scarves, own fabric, or white clothing
  5. Discuss Individual projects that students may wish to work on
  6. Prepare vats for resting overnight

Day Two

  1. Check Indigo vats and prepare for use
  2. Introduction to Stitching techniques- Mokume, Karamatsu, Guntai, Ori-Nui, Maki-Age, Spiral Stitch
  3. Binding techniques – use of rope, string, beads, elastic bands
  4. Design development- how to layer techniques to produce a more complex design on fabric

Day Three

  1. Check indigo vats and prepare for final use
  2. Apply learned techniques to fabrics
  3. prepare any of the fabric pieces to immerse into vat
  4. Wash all Indigo pieces once dry and set aside best pieces for display


  1. Simultaneously start getting Metal pots prepared for Plant-dyeing
  2. Heat water and when hot immerse selected plant material
  3. Allow an hour prior to starting the dye process.
  4. Once dye colour selected, immerse Shiboried fabric/paper into dye pot.
  5. Leave to cook for at least 2 hours
  6. Prepare Vats for resting overnight.

Day Four

  1. Continue dyeing fabrics in existing vat, and make new vat in different colour.
  2. Dye selection of fabric, paper, clothes once new vat is ready
  3. Once cooked, hang out on Line and allow to dry in shade.
  4. Discuss and plan classroom setup for displaying of work on day 5
  5. Prepare vats for resting overnight

Day Five

  1. Check vats and prepare for final use
  2. Finishing of fabric and paper projects
  3. Set up room for class display
  4. Cleaning up and disposal of vats

No prior experience required

Please bring the following on your first day of class:

  • Natural fabrics – cotton, linen, silk (at least 3 metres assorted), and /or a few lightweight white shirts, dress, small tops to dye
  • Bucket
  • Gloves
  • Apron
  • Water-soluble fabric pen (available from Spotlight/Lincraft)
  • Two balls string
  • Piece of plumbers pipe-7,9 or 12 cm diameter x 25 —30cm long
  • Quick unpick
  • Scissors
  • Selection of papers, i.e., cotton rag, watercololour
  • Wear old clothing and shoes as dyeing is messy

Your class has an extra cost of $65 – this cost includes:

  • Clamps and perspex shapes
  • Wood blocks
  • Nylbond sewing thread
  • Needles
  • Stencils
  • Assorted pipes
  • Pegs
  • Clothesline
  • Buckets
  • Vats
  • Indigo
  • Soda ash
  • Hydros
  • Mordants
  • Plant material
  • Portable stove tops
  • 3 scarves per student
  • Comprehensive set of notes

Additional silk, cotton fabrics/scarves and papers will be available for students to purchase from me if they wish.

Payment details provided on booking.

Anne Leon
Course Tutor

Anne Leon

Anne Leon is an accomplished textile artist with 40 years of experience, and has been represented in solo and combined exhibitions, and taught all over Australia.

Her work has graced many National and International Hotels, resorts and private homes.

In addition to Shibori and Indigo, Anne also employs several other techniques, including Screen-printing, Natural dyeing, Cyanotype, water-colour, and Ceramics in her creative practice.

  • Online