Acid Dye Shibori

A few months ago, I tested the idea of applying shibori techniques to a fabric I'd constructed using crochet, specifically Tunisian (or Afghan) crochet. Shibori typically means binding cloth and dyeing the bound cloth with indigo. For my test, I used a crocheted fabric swatch as the cloth and acid dyes instead of indigo. The result was promising. So, I decided to apply the acid dye shibori technique to a larger piece of fabric.

I made a rectangular piece of fabric, a scarf, having a length of about 60 inches and a width of about 7 inches using alpaca and Tunisian crochet. Then, I tied the fabric in various places to create a 3D shape.

Undyed 3D Shaped Fabric

The shaped scarf was then dyed using stove-top immersion dyeing and Lanaset dyes. I discovered that the stitches tightened up after the immersion dyeing. This may be peculiar to alpaca and other types of fibers that can felt easily with heat.

Dyed Alpaca Fabric

I decided to take my acid dye shibori experiment a step further. The driver for this additional work was that I wasn't particularly fond of the high contrast between the blue parts of the dyed fabric and the white parts of the dyed fabric. So, I decided to dye the fabric a second time. I used a pale blue-gray shade for the over-dyeing. The result is shown below. The fabric after the second dyeing is truly beautiful. I like its subtlety, the low-contrast between the light and dark areas of the fabric, the matting of the stitches.

Twice dyed alpaca fabric