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October's Crafternoon- Shibori!

EXCITING NEWS! We are honoured to have the lovely Rachel Zuch co-hosting October’s Crafternoon, when we’re going to learn to dye our own set of napkins using the ancient Japanese tie-dying technique; Shibori. YAAAY!!!

Rachel is a talented yet incredibly humble textile designer, who studied fashion and textile design at University and undertook further study in fabric printing in Sydney, where she gained her skills in Shibori. Rachel has been working as a freelance textile designer for the past few years, specialising in beautiful hand-painted florals and graphic prints you may have seen at Jets, MARCS, Billabong and Von Zipper, even gracing the pages of Harper’s Bazaar- wowee! She’s also a rad human being with impeccable taste and a penchant for wine and cheese 👊

Rachel will be imparting her knowledge on Shibori- a Japanese method of dying fabric, involving a range of techniques to manipulate the cloth and leave areas or lines un-dyed, producing beautiful resist patterns. Folding, pressing, binding, twisting, wrapping, stitching and compressing are all techniques used to produce different effects on the cloth. Think of it like tie-dying’s sophisticated oriental cousin!

For an idea of the kind of effects you can expect to see on your finished napkins, check out the great blog posts attached to the images credited at the end of this post!

Traditionally, Shibori is done using natural indigo dye, which is plant-based and requires the use of a reducing agent to rid the vat of oxygen. We will be using a much simpler pre-made dye that’s readily available in craft stores so you can recreate the magic easily at home. Participants are also welcome to bring any light-coloured, natural pieces of fabric they have lying around at home to use up the dye in our vat once we've made our set of 6 100% cotton napkins, waste not want not! They will be a perfect addition to any well-dressed dining table, or would make a beautiful gift... ahem, Christmas is less than two months away people!

We'll be taking over the lovely Bandicoot Room at Hamilton's HIRL, hopefully using the outside picnic benches and garden so let's hope the weather is glorious on the 30th! This workshop is suitable for absolute beginners as no previous experience is necessary, and is open to adults and teenagers (though it's not quite suitable for children), but places are limited so booking is essential!

So, the details…


What are we making?

A set of 6 hand-dyed shibori napkins :)


Sunday 30th October, 10.45am for a cuppa before an 11am start to the class, finishing up around 1pm.


The Bandicoot Room, Hamilton Institute of Rural Learning, 333 N Boundary Rd, Hamilton Victoria (precise instructions on which room this is will be emailed with your confirmation).

How much is the session?

$40 per person, which is less than half of any similar workshops we’ve seen in Australia! Bargain!

What’s included?


Prepared Indigo Blue Fabric Dye

6 cotton napkins each

Expertise and Tuition in Shibori

All tools and materials for different dying techniques

Unlimited tea, coffee and biccies

What should I wear?

Clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting the odd blue splash on!

What should I bring?

Bring a large tupperware, bucket or thick bag to take your dyed napkins home in incase they're still damp. You’re also welcome to some of your own fabric or light-coloured items like simple scarves to dip into any remaining dye too, just make sure they’re natural fibres like 100% cotton, silk or hemp.

How do I book in?

Email to book and you'll be sent a confirmation email with details of how to pay! Cancellations made less than 72 hours in advance of the workshop are not refundable I'm afraid, but you're welcome to send someone along in your place just let me know!


The images used in this blog post are all from the wonderful websites listed below:

The wonderful ladies at A Beautiful Mess have a really thorough tutorial for shibori napkins HERE

Some more beautiful snaps and another great tutorial can be found over at Honestly WTF:

If you're not able to attend the workshop but would like some shibori napkins of your own, Etsy could come up with the goods! These ones are by CakewalkLinens:

Don't forget to follow our Facebook page and new Instagram account @mycrafternoons, and sign up to the mailing list if this kind of crafty thing tickles your fancy!

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