How to dye a shibori tablecloth [photo step-by-step]

Shibori is a beautiful and simple method of Japanese fabric dyeing by binding – a lot like tie dye, but it looks so much better!


There are many different methods of shibori, and each has a lovely and different rippled pattern effect across the fabric. I loved the geometric look of the squares, so that’s what I did here. HonestlyWTF did a pretty in-depth tutorial with many different binding methods, and they stuck to the traditional indigo. I accidentally chose a royal purple dye, but I’m leaning into it!

Picture from HonestlyWTF

Here’s a pretty easy tutorial for your own shibori dyed tablecloth:


You will need

  • thick, white outdoors fabric for your tablecloth, to fit your table
  • 2 x wooden squares (I cut up a plank at the hardware store)
  • String and/ or elastic bands
  • fabric dye in colour of your choice
  • bucket or large pot


To make 

  1. Fold your fabric concertina style, like an accordian or fan. This is pretty tricky with large fabric, so it might be a two person job. Fold it concertina style lengthways, and then widthways, so you’re left with a square.




  2. Place this square between two pieces of wood, leaving a thick border on the outside. It’s pretty much only the border that’s going to get dyed, so keep that in mind. Bind it up with string and elastics, however much you want, any way you want to. Part of the beauty of shibori is the unpredictability.



  3. Following your dye instructions, dye this gloriously bound bundle. Mine required boiling, which I did, and I didn’t dry it as thoroughly as some people would. Still turned out great!
    Much more plum-like than anticipated!!


    I kept gently flipping it to somewhat equally dye the whole thing. 


  4. Untie, and leave to dry. Donezies!


And now you have a beautiful tablecloth! I hemmed mine with a neon yellow thread for a little pizzazz.

Love this tablecloth.
Looks quite striking!
Mine dyed unevely, which I love.
I even used it for a whisky maramlade photoshoot I did – expect the recipe soon!



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