Boshi Shibori

When a motif is outlined with stitches, the threads are then drawn up and knotted, and finally capped with plastic, it’s called Bōshi Shibori – or capped shibori. The japanese used bamboo sheath in the past instead of plastic, this is to prevent the dye to penetrate the fabric, but I just use cling film for practical reasons. Sorry, environment!

Designing this piece was equally fun and hard work. I wanted to make a pattern because I like my things symmetrical, but this technique allows to make different shapes of any size, or even create large white areas in the fabric, so you could do pretty much anything.

See the process in photos below:
Boshi shibori tezukuri 01
Boshi shibori tezukuri 02
Boshi shibori tezukuri 03
Boshi shibori tezukuri 04
Boshi shibori tezukuri 05
Boshi shibori tezukuri 06
Boshi shibori tezukuri 08

Boshi shibori tezukuri 09I hope you enjoyed the post and I’d love to read your comments! For the dyers out there, I used 100% linen and dipped it ten times in the indigo vat  🙂


22 responses to “Boshi Shibori

  1. Luisa,
    as usual, stunning work, very careful stitching, beautiful results.
    Love it!
    Carmen Teresa

  2. Beautiful, lovely pattern as usual Luisa 🙂

    I was attending a workshop over the weekend with Yoshiko Wada and she was mentioning how in China and some parts of Central Asia, they use cellophane tape to cover the units for boshi which actually works out more economically viable and environmental friendly than cotton thread!
    If you don’t mind me asking, did you use some form of resist inside the unit as well and what type of thread do you use for your stitch resist work?

    • Hi Anu, Thanks for your message!
      Sticky tape? Really? I had no idea!!
      Re my fabric, no I didn’t use any form of resist, just pulled the threads and tied them really tight, then cover them with plastic and tie again.
      The thread I use is a japanese brand – toyobo and is 100% cotton. It’s a bit thicker than the average thread, special for shibori.
      What was your workshop about? I’d like to meet Yoshiko Wada someday. x

      • Thanks Luisa, I’ll check to see if it can be sourced locally. I’m surprised that you didn’t bump into Yoshiko while in Japan; she is there at least for 2 months in a year. I actually work for Yoshiko at World Shibori Network, so I do get opportunities for troubleshooting and clarifications with her. But attending a workshop that’s structured clarifies a lot of things at once, helps you meet other fellow enthusiasts, so it was fun. I’m planning to post about it soon…

  3. That’s amazing! I’ve been trying to do boshi shibori as well, but I always seem to get dye leakage into the capped area no matter how well I tie it. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Rosemary, what I do is tie it twice to be extra safe. First with the thread, then cover it up with plastic – I use cling film and make sure I go around it many times with it and then tie it again all over. It’s extra work but it works!
      Hope that helps, I’d love to hear how it goes next time 🙂

      • Thank you so much – I finally got it to work! It seems the problem wasn’t the way I tied it, but the dye I was using. A long soak in synthetic dye gives the dye plenty of time to wick under the cap. A couple quick dips in indigo give a much crisper line. I’ve also gotten it to work with madder, though you can’t have rubber bands in a simmering dye bath (learned that one the hard way). 🙂

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