How to sew satisfying circles in sophisticated tie dye.


This is a wonderfully simple but effective shibori design to make. This would be a great design to attempt as an introduction to shibori. It is a most pleasing pattern.

In this example I was sewing the design in silk. If you use cotton fabric you will get a slightly different result but always use a reasonably soft and flexible natural fabric. This linen scarf below was created from evenly spaced similar size circles.

shibori circles in gold

4 steps to making simple circles

Drawing the design

You start by drawing the design on ready for dyeing fabric (ie prewashed at 60 degrees C/ 140 degrees F) with tailor’s chalk or removable fabric marker. Find a simple shape to draw around approximately 2” to 3” / 5 to 8cms diameter. Place your circles in a pleasing arrangement. I used a random pattern. You may like to put them in a row.

Stitching your design

For general instructions about sewing please look at “7 Helpful Hints for shibori sewing” to see the general tips about equipment needed.


Each of the circles are stitched around with a double thread starting and ending at the same place leaving long ends for pulling up later. It is helpful to keep your starting and ending place on the outside of the circles away from each other, it makes it all easier.

Gathering the stitching

Now it is time to pull all the stitching up. Gather each circle up in turn gathering tightly and knotting. Take a slightly thicker thread somewhere between button thread and double knitting weight and start at the bottom of the pulled together shape and knot it around at the base. Then continue winding the thread around keeping each turn of the thread close to the previous one to exclude the dye completely until you get to the top and then tie the ends together to secure it. Do this with each of the circular shapes.



You now have your design ready for dyeing. If you need help on dyeing with indigo dyes look at my previous blog.

Once dyed you carefully unpick all the stitching to reveal the design.

I hope you will enjoy creating this simple shibori design that I have outlined. Simple and satisfying. You can see other scarves I have created in my website shop.


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