I like to think of shibori—the Japanese art of twisting, folding, and tying fabric before dipping it into an indigo dye bath—as the grown-up version of rainbow-drenched tie dye. The process is every bit as playful as what you remember from craft time at summer camp, but the brilliant blue palette is undeniably stylish.
To get started, follow one of the how-tos below, or buy some dye and start dunking any fabric you have around the house. Pillows, sheets, curtains—they're all fair game, as long as they are made of natural materials, like linen or cotton. Several of these projects were created with Jacquard's Indigo Dye Kit, but a similar look can also be achieved by blending basic Rit Dye in Denim Blue and Navy Blue (as shown on the pretty pillows, above).
These flour sack dish towels by Alice & Lois were created using four different tying techniques.
These placemats were sewn from a drop cloth before being dip dyed by Lovely Indeed. No worries if you don't know how to sew; just start with white store-bought placemats.
Imagine how much more exciting lunchtime would be with these hand-dyed reusable bags by Sweet Paul.
This beautiful leather-lined shibori bag made by Thimble & Cloth is like a wearable piece of art. For a quicker take with a similar look, dye a basic cotton tote following the same method.