3 magic shibori circles to shape in sophisticated tie dye


Today I am going to introduce you to stunning ways to create shibori circles.

Some of the most wonderful designs in shibori are created from the simple running stitch through two folds of fabric – ori nui. The stitch is simple to execute and when put together in lines, circular or straight you can make some stunning work. Here I am going to introduce you to the idea of stitching in circles! Takes a little care with manipulating the fabric around a curved line but choose a nice soft cotton and it is quite easy.

First steps to creating shibori circles

Here’s how to make the stitch

Draw the line on the fabric, fold the fabric along that line and do a row of small running stitches in double thread. Tie a small cotton tag in the end of the thread before starting sewing.


The stitches are pulled up tying another small tag in the end to pull up against. This creates a resist in the fabric before dyeing and then the stitches are unpicked to reveal the pattern.


Second step to creating shibori circles

3 simple single fold ori nui projects

1. A stunning spiral.


Draw the spiral on your cotton fabric. Starting from the centre fold along the line and stitch through both layers of fabric with your thread. Continue til the spiral is complete. If your cotton is not long enough, leave a long tail and start a new length of thread stitching into the point where the last thread finished.

2. Circles within circles.


Here a series of concentric circles are sewn about 2” apart. A very simple concept but very effective.

3. Circular Seed pod


Inspired by the allium family of seed heads this design is made from many short lengths of ori-nui stitching randomly spaced. A lovely vintage button could be added to the centre and many small buttons or beads sewn around the outside to complete the design.

These 3 pieces show the amazing versatility of using such a simple stitch and what can be achieved. They are particularly pleasing when dyed with indigo. And fibre reactive dyes can achieve some exciting effects and colours too.

Two of these pieces were created on Townhill Studio workshops. Why not join one of my workshops or find another shibori practitioner near you.

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