Our April Featured Maker

Shibori Indigo Dyeing | Rachel Denbow


Welcome to an exploration in traditional indigo dyeing with artist Rachel Denbow. In this workshop we’ll be exploring the binding, folding, twisting and compression methods of shibori, a richly cultural cloth dyeing method that originated in Japan in the 8th century. This resist-dyeing technique uses pressure to reveal a pattern within carefully dyed indigo fabric. Every detail of shibori represents a thoughtful and intentional action made by an artist’s hands. And that resulting indigo dye color, its stunning!

Rachel works with the techniques of indigo dyeing and shibori on a regular basis to create beautiful works of art. She shares that she has long been fascinated with the extraction and application of organic colors from the natural world onto textiles such as wool, silk, linen and cotton. She enjoys both the control it offers over color selection when designing a project, as well as being part of the intimate process of changing a textile from its raw state to something beautiful that can be enjoyed in the home. She is inspired by the rich history and utilitarian use of indigo in countries like Japan where there are still dye houses that grow and process indigo in dye vats that have been active for decades. These houses take great pride in educating younger generations on this ancient craft.

Calling Missouri home, Rachel is a fiber artist and creative skills teacher that offers instruction and inspiration under her brand, Smile and Wave. She travels the country teaching workshops, writes creative skills e-courses on the regular, and is the author of the best-selling weaving book, DIY Woven Art. Currently, Rachel creates her work in her backyard dye shed which she built out of salvaged pallets and uses her dyed textiles to create beautiful weavings in the upstairs studio of the 100 year old home she shares with her husband and three kids.

We can’t wait to see how you are inspired to create using this technique! Be sure to share with us your process and your projects by using #thecraftersbox and tagging @smileandwave. Happy making.

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