Stitched Shibori by Jane Callender

Stitched Shibori book by Jane Callender

The complete guide to shibori dyeing, packed with techniques, designs and inspiration

This bestseller contains all the information a beginner will need to get started – including tips on dyeing in small spaces and a guide to all the necessary health and safety considerations – but is also packed with innovative techniques and inspiring designs that will appeal to the experienced textile artist.

Written by eminent shibori artist and expert shibori teacher Jane Callender, this beautiful, practical book is packed with both traditional and inventive stitch-resist techniques, a complete dyeing guide and an inspirational gallery of Jane’s work.

The book is broken into three sections. The first shows you all the key stitch-resist techniques you need – from the basics right through to creating intricate designs and all are clearly explained with photography and illustrations. Learn how to create a range of different shibori styles, oversew, make circles and other shapes, use grids, double needles, stencils and caps, bind fabrics, work with machine stitch, use fabric buffers and incorporate appliqué.

The second section shows you how to use motifs to create pattern: learn how to create and position designs, including traditional arrangements such as Karamatsu and Tatewaku, create composite designs and get tips on how to plan your own patterns.

Finally, the book contains a complete guide to dyeing with recipes, tips and advice so that you can get the very best from every dye bath you make. Learn how to dye with both natural and synthetic indigo, in organic and synthetic vats. Also choose from a wide range of natural dyes, iron rust and dazzling Procion dyes, which can be used in combination or alone for amazing effects.

Publication information

Publisher: Search Press
Edition: BC Paperback
Publication: Jan 31 2017, 2nd edition August 31
ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782211419
Size: 216×280 mm
Illustrations: 950
Pages: 176
RRP Price: £19.99

Ways to buy

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by Jenny Balfour Paul
Hon. Research Fellow, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, Exeter University
President, Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers

Jane Callender is a remarkable person, and this is reflected in her work.

Slowly, quietly, and with determination and discipline, she has for three decades immersed herself in the fascinating craft and art of shibori, earning worldwide respect and admiration for her exceptional skills. Through her textiles, her teaching and her writing she has raised the profile in the West of techniques and design possibilities long since relished in other cultures.

When I was helping the curator Jennifer Harris to select exhibits for the major touring exhibition ‘Indigo: A Blue to Dye For’, put on by Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery, Callender was the only British shibori artist whose creations were more than a match for the best from Japan, a country considered the ‘home’ of the most superior shibori. Not only is her work as refined as that of the foremost Japanese artists, but she has also invented her own designs that are acknowledged as being on a par with the most intricate traditional Japanese pieces. Her lifelong abilities in stitching, begun in her childhood, are often combined with other resist techniques to brilliant effect. This combination of technical mastery and innovation is a great achievement.

Callender and I share a mentor, Susan Bosence, who was a renowned block-printer and resist-dyer. She handed on to us her particular passion for indigo, a dyestuff with a unique chemistry and beauty. Indigo’s extraordinary – almost magical – quality makes it a perfect partner for shibori; indeed it is a match made in heaven. Bosence had a collection of indigo-dyed shibori examples from many countries that inspired her own work, as well as a deep love of nature and geometric patterns that Callender shares and has taken to new heights. There is an indefinable integrity about lives dedicated to such craftsmanship.

Shibori can be created with various dyes but its affinity with indigo is well known and Jane has mastered to perfection the subtleties of dyeing with indigo. It requires practice and love to fully exploit indigo’s wonderful potential to provide on a single piece of cloth a range of shades from the palest azures of the sky to the deepest blues of the ocean.

Decades of painstaking practice, thought and experimentation are gathered into this gorgeous book, which is much more than a handbook, since it includes innovative designs and techniques and celebrates a lifetime’s experience. It will become a classic on shibori, widely consulted worldwide and savoured and treasured for years to come.

A look inside the book

Be guided through the first steps of creating stitched shibori. Design tools will make the task quicker and easier. Many basic stitch techniques are shown as are different approaches to pulling up the threads to secure a resist prior to dyeing.

Various indigo dye recipes are included – natural chemical and organic vats as well as synthetic indigo and many indigo dye techniques are shown and discussed. There is a chapter introducing natural dyes and recipes such as myrobalan shown above, as well as the effects of iron rust as a mordant and as a dye in its own right.

From simple stitching on single thickness fabric the book explores the many options of dealing with folds and the results that can be achieved.

Natural dyes hold their own against the vibrancy of fibre reactive dyes, here showing a hand painted application. Shining out from a dark indigo ground stitch is combined with the itajime technique. A chapter is given to motif development and further attention is given to the use of modifiers in the chapter on natural dyes.

Jane’s clear diagrams are used throughout the book to compliment and clarify the written instruction.


Barbara Shapiro

For anyone who has ever pulled up and dyed a simple stitched resist, the beauty and complexity of Jane Callender’s work is awe-inspiring. In this generous book, she shares, with great accuracy, her mastery of shibori techniques and dyeing. Attention to detail makes this an excellent guide for all levels.
An introduction explains shibori as the interaction between compressed cloth and dye. Shibori Tradition and pages throughout the text reveal the history of shibori worldwide and how politics, economics and fashion affected design, including particular techniques developed by significant Japanese masters in modern times.
The Techniques section proceeds from the simplest to more complex stitched patterns and shows the power of simple motifs in repeat. Even complex techniques are made clear with step-by-step photos and illustrations. Only a few indigo photos are perhaps too dark to easily discern. Some 100 pages are devoted to cloth preparation and process for specific techniques. Even the most experienced practitioner will learn something new about stitching on a single layer, on folded or pleated cloth, or on over sewing, capping and machine stitching. Motif development by filling in larger shapes encourages creativity. Techniques not usually associated with stitch resist such as clamp resist and binding or capping to a core increase our understanding of the possibilities. Suggestions on dip dying for variety in some patterns and buffers for clean edges and to prevent knots from pulling through are invaluable. Degumming silk and even working on synthetic fabrics for interesting dimensional results without dying is explained. Japanese stitch names are used throughout.
Sections on Pattern and Dyes will set the novice on the right path. Although many examples are dyed in traditional indigo, which is particularly well suited to resist dyeing, mordanted natural dyes, tannins and fiber reactive dyes enliven the book. There are excellent didactic chapters at the end of the book on these dyes. Indigo in particular is well explained. Callender acknowledges the dye experts she has learned from: Charlotte Kwon of Maiwa, French dye chemist Michel Garcia and her compatriot author Jenny Balford Paul. The chapters devoted to discharge, fiber reactive and other natural dyes whet the appetite for further exploration. Imperial measurements need the slight conversion to US Gallons and fluid ounces, but gram measurements are always accurate. The reader is encouraged to innovate and adapt traditional patterns according to her own artistic creativity. The author provides excellent sections on working with a grid and planning ahead for complex interactions between small pattern motifs. Other valuable tips are highlighted throughout. Callender’s book should be read through with care and referred back to often when planning a new project. In this age of searchable documents on line, references back or ahead to useful pages on particular techniques are appreciated.
Finally, the gallery of Callender’s own inspiring artwork shows what true mastery of craft can produce. This is an excellent companion to Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada’s two earlier seminal books on shibori. Callender’s book is a must have for all textile schools, shibori dyers and surface design artists.
Reviewed by Barbara Shapiro, textile, educator and artist. San Francisco, Previously published in Shuttle, Spindle and Dye pot for the Handweavers Guild of America.

Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers
Autumn 2017

The author is very well known as both a tutor and textile artist, and this book certainly met my high expectations.
Starting with an explanation of the process and an overview of worldwide shibori traditions, the text moves seamlessly through a full description of procedures, starting with methods of scouring fabrics for dyeing, knots and stitching variations. The very clearly illustrated and numerous step-by-step methods, generally referred to by their traditional terminology, are illustrated with photographs of the results. Design advice is provided throughout, so that you don’t just master techniques, but learn to use them as effectively as possible. Chapters towards the end of the book are devoted to dyeing firstly, with indigo (including the natural organic vat), then -more unusually for shibori using natural dyes, iron and finally cold water fibre reactive dyes.
Unusually this book is very suitable for both beginners and more advanced dyers. For the former, the text is logically organised and clear enough to be viewed as a complete self-teaching guide, but even for those with some experience there are likely to be some new ideas to try. If you have never tried shibori before, the stunning photographs will inevitably tempt you in.
Highly recommended.

A comprehensive resource for shibori. The book is divided into three sections: Techniques, Pattern and Dyeing with how-to instructions and photographs. To my knowledge this is the most comprehensive book on shibori. Develop motifs for unique textiles. Indigo recipes and ones for other dyes too, ensure a range a colours. Suitable for the beginner with challenges for every level. Illustrated throughout with some of the most remarkable examples of shibori outside Japan. Learn about shibori tradition, preparation, process, pattern, folds and more. Mokume is my favourite technique. I found Jane’s work years ago, and my jaw still drops at her amazing achievements. I just want to work through this book from beginning to end and over and over again. Absolutely essential for anyone interested in dyeing, stitching and shibori. Simply wonderful, demonstrating the true art of shibori.

Workshop on the web

Jane Callender has written the most marvellous book, ‘Stitched Shibori’, in encyclopaedic detail. Exploring the art of Shibori, in particular reference to stitched pieces and the pattern they create, this book exhaustively covers everything. It consists of three sections Technique, Pattern and Dyeing. In Technique, there are 35 different approaches to stitching fabric. Many different stitches and patterns are explored, whether stitching on a single or double layer, how space between stitches can change a pattern, curve, pleat or binding. There are variations within each choice, producing multitudes of photographs of all the different effects achieved by changing the smallest detail. It is quite
mind-boggling! If you want to work on stitched Shibori techniques, there can’t be many places where you can find all the answers. Pattern is a short section but teaches how to create the different patterns and stencils. You can see how combining techniques creates an infinite number of patterns if you thought the first section was overwhelming, suddenly the world of Shibori opens up more widely. The Dyes section is extensively recipe-laden with many different Shibori dyes and how to create them.

Popular Patchwork
May 2017

Shibori is a technique with its roots in Africa, China, and Japan. I’ve seen some
pieces that are as intricate and delicate as a snowflake and as such I’ve rather filed this technique in the box marked advanced i.e. not for me. Jane is a highly respected Shibori artist, teacher and speaker and so used to breaking down the technicalities of this centuries-old tradition into practical steps. The book is laid out intelligently, starting with the process of sewing in a single line of straight stitch with clear illustrations and photos showing the results that can be achieved. You can progress quite quickly by introducing more lines and layers or with folds and curves. Finished patterns can quickly become quite kaleidoscopic and for anyone interested in designing their own fabrics this could possibly get quite addictive. I was particularly drawn to the chapter on Wrapped Pattern, which combines stitching on the fold with binding the cloth around a cylinder for its more unpredictable results (but that’s me all over: living on the edge!). As with any technique involving dyes, you’ve got to have a certain amount of space to experiment and be comfortable handling chemicals. There are safety guidelines and recipes for all manner of dyes, both natural and synthetic, at the back of the book and some amazing colour combinations can be achieved with practice. Marigolds at the ready!

Issue 40

Stitched Shibori is the Japanese art of immersing textiles in a dye bath and creating pattern using a range of stitched resist techniques (think tye-dyeing but on another level!). In this practical and beautiful guide, renowned expert Jane Callender showcases techniques, patterns and dyes in three comprehensive sections. Complete with full instructions, illustrations, photographs, designs, tips and advice, her guide features ideas for using grids, folding, pleating, motifs and stencils (plus other techniques) to create beautiful designs. It includes due recipes and useful advice on which fabrics to use. We believe it is a wonderful handbook for beginners and experienced textile artists alike.

East Kent Embroiderers Guild

At its simplest, shibori is the art of folding and pleating fabric, so distorting it before immersion in the dyebath.  But it is so much more than that and eminent artist Jane Callender, who has devoted her working life to the art of shibori and indigo dyeing, presents, what will surely become, without doubt, a reference work for future generations of devotees of the craft.  The book is divided into three sections technique, pattern and dyeing, each meticulously explored with both lavish photography and highly detailed diagrams and explanations.  A huge range of different stitch techniques are illustrated, used to create a myriad of specific designs and effects, together with the recipes for indigo and fibre-reactive dyes.  This is an invaluable and inspiring resource book for both the beginner and the more experienced highly recommended.

Embroidery Magazine

Shibori is a resist dye technique often associated with indigo. In its most basic form, stitches and/or pleats are applied to cloth before dying to create undyed, neutral marks or areas of pattern.
Jane Callender, as Jenny Balfour-Paul explains in her foreword, is one of the few British shibori practitioners whose work can be considered a match to the foremost Japanese artists and in this book, the author brings to bear more than three decades of expert knowledge in this ancient craft. Callender wastes no time delving into every aspect of creating patterns using stitch resist. She begins with a brief introduction to shibori, before explaining the basics of
preparation, tying knots, pulling threads and simple stitch arrangements. In pages 22-122 she explains all the key stitch-resist techniques needed how various lengths, directions and rhythms of hand and machine stitch produce different marks. When combined with folds, pleats, binding, capping, wrapping, appliqué or multiple layers, the possibilities are endless. A second chapter reveals how to create intricate patterns. Finally she provides tuition and recipes for natural and synthetic indigo dyeing, as well as natural dyes and throughout, the instructions are explained clearly with helpful diagrams and photographs.
Jane Callender has condensed a lifetime of practical expertise to create what can be best described as the shibori artist’s best friend, packed with both traditional and inventive stitch-resist techniques, designs and inspiration, including examples of her own work.
Readers of this book will not be disappointed both beginners and experienced makers will benefit from this guide, which at this price provides incredible value for a reference book you will return to again and again.

March 17

Master the art of Japanese stitch-resist dyeing through both traditional and more innovative techniques of stitching and staining fabric. This book guides you through the process starting with detailed explainations of how to create patterns with stitches and offering helpful photos of each finished effect. It contains all the information you need to get started, while its inspiring content ensures that it will remain a fruitful resource as you become an experiened textile artist.

Although on first look the book looks very complicated however after reading the book the instructions are very clear and precise with handy little tips
Jennifer Brain

This book is a very informative & inspiring guide to the Japanese art of Shibori. It is well illustrated both with photos & diagrams. The results are stunning but the book guides you through the processes so that you feel good results are achievable even for a beginner. Shibori does not need a lot of specialist equipment & I think anyone with an interest in textiles would find this a very useful addition to their bookshelf.
Nicola Urmenyi

A very technical book, which is also very informative. I would recommend it to students genuinely interested in Shibori and dyeing techniques. There is lots of imagery to inspire and whet the appetite. Written in a somewhat prescriptive manner which helps students to learn the techniques precisely and leaving room for further exploration. As always, excellent photography by Paul Bricknell adds value. Jane Callender brings her many years experience with this technique to bear in a way that will enable much learning to take place, for students of little or no experience and also for those in the know! I love the recipe charts, these make it all much easier to digest.
Valerie Hughes

Very informative book with lots of photos to guide you through this embroidery craft, I’m looking forward to trying this out for the first time!
Donna Hall

At first glance I thought this was going to be a little too technical and difficult for a beginner but I was so wrong.
There is a section on the fascinating history of the craft, lots of different stitches to try and also details on how to make your own dye recipes. You are guided through each step with diagrams and photos which makes it very easy to follow.
Its a very comprehensive book on this subject and I would recommend it to an enthusiastic beginner right through to the more accomplished crafter.
Karen Painter

Very comprehensive book on many aspects of this craft. 
At first look the book seemed quite complicated but once I started reading about this fascinating craft I now can’t wait to get started.
There are chapters on the history of Shibori. Plenty on the different types of stitching and dye patterns and a lovely section about natural dyes and how to recipes for them
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in this craft or anyone looking for a different craft to try.
Sharon Raglan

This is a lovely book, with a new technique I haven’t tried before.

 I must admit I am more of a knitter and crocheter than stitcher, but the running stitch technique is easy to master, and the effects are amazing! What interested me most about the book was the section on natural dyeing (with yarn in mind!), and I found the step by step instructions really interesting and easy to follow. I have already ordered some indigo and alum, and intend to go foraging for some other natural products to continue this experiment!

 I honestly don’t know how much shibori stitching I can see in my future, but I can see this book being pored over with regards to the fantastic dye section
Natasha Field

A beautifully presented book, with lots of information on the history of Shibori. Lovely projects, though not for the complete beginner to embroidery. The techniques are very clearly explained and illustrated , with step by step instruction. Definitely a book i will use and reuse multiple times
Jane Johnson

Édition français

Nui Shibori – Technique, innovation, motifs, design

Les éditions de saxe

Écrit par la grande artiste et spécialiste du shibori Jane Callender, ce magnifique ouvrage pratique sur le nui shibori présente des techniques à la fois traditionnelles et innovantes, un guide complet sur la teinture et des exemples inspirants issus du travail de lˊauteur. Ce livre est divisé en trois parties: les techniques, les morifs et las teinture. De nombreuses techniques de reserve par couture – utilisées seules ou combines à dˊautres methods propres au shibori – sont expliquées en detail, avec photos et illstrations à l’appui. Vopus apprendrez à élargir les techniques pour developer des motifs et pratiquer un art textile unique. La partie sur la teinture donne des explications précises quant à la preparation et au proceed, permettant de réaliser les réserves de shibori dans une large gamme de couleurs sur des tissus naturels. Vous y trouverez des recettes pour les cuves d’indigo naturel et synthétique, les teintures naturelles et les colorants fibro-réactifs. Toutes ces précieuses couleurs peuvent être utilisêes seules ou combines à l’indigo.

Ce livre de reference complet offer toutes les informations nécessaires pour les débutants qui souhaitent s’initier à l’art du shibori. Il regorge également de techniques et d’idées innovantes qui raviront et inspireront les artistes textiles plus expérimentés.

French edition of Stitched Shibori by Jane Callender
French edition of Stitched Shibori by Jane Callender