3D Shibori

is a technique for adding texture and shaping textiles by exploiting the thermoplastic qualities of some synthetic fabrics in order to manipulate surfaces. You wrap items into fabric, secure them with thread and set them with heat, and in this way the process leaves a "memory on cloth" – a permanent record, whether of patterning or texture, of the particular forms of resistance to the change. Cloth holds the memory of action performed on it!

Shibori is the Japanese word for a range of ways of transforming textiles by shaping cloth and dyeing it. The word comes from shiboru – “to wring, squeeze, press.”

We normally think of cloth as a two-dimensional surface, but with shibori it is given a three-dimensional form in various ways: folding, crumpling, stitching, plaiting, or plucking and twisting.

shibori binding

Shibori is much more than the familiar tie-dyeing of the late 1960s. Shaped-resisting dyeing techniques have been used for centuries in all parts of the world. They include tying, clamping, folding, or holding back during dyeing to keep some areas from taking colour – and more than half of these techniques originated in Japan.

Although the shibori techniques originated with natural materials, they also work well with human-made fabrics – polyester is perfect. Like shibori dyeing techniques, it often involves wrapping, twisting, pleating, folding, and binding fabric into shapes with thread. When you wrap and twist polyester into shapes and then boil it, once it has dried out the fabric will maintain the shape it was boiled in.

You can find here a free tutorial with detailed examples of how to apply these techniques to texture fabric surfaces.