Indigo Shibori
the Commonhouse, Venice Beach

Shibori is the Japanese word for a variety of ways of embellishing textiles by shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing. The word comes from the verb root shiboru, “to wring, squeeze, press.” Rather than treating cloth as a two-dimensional surface, with shibori it is given a three-dimensional form by folding, crumpling, stitching, plaiting, or plucking and twisting. With shibori the dyer works in concert with the materials, not in an effort to overcome their limitations but to allow them full expression. Chance and accident also give life to the shibori process, and this is its special magic and strongest appeal. At its core, shibori is a way of making patterns on fabric through exposing only some portions of the fabric to dye. Much of the work of shibori is in the preparation: the fabric is folded, tied, sewn, or pleated to dictate the pattern of the dye. 

In this workshop, different types of Shibori folding techniques were taught. After practicing on several dish towels, the students ended the day with a full-sized Turkish bath towel.


Being a chef and writer, the creative bug in me is always on the lookout for something other than wielding a knife or a pen. I discovered Crave Workshops at The Common Houses (a community driven social space in Venice) and signed up for Agnes’ Shibori workshop, a folding/dyeing craft in Japan’s own inimitable process. It turned out to be more fun than I had bargained for, complete with a social Sunday with a bunch of like-minded individuals (making new friends is always a welcome change), Agnes’ dedication and expertise guiding us through the intricacies of this art along with tips and tricks as also her generosity in time and assistance. The end result was my very own creations which I am excited to use as also gift (I made about 8 pieces without realizing how much I was working). I look forward to more activities with her and to learn so much more the world of Art has to offer.