6 August 2015

Abigail & Ryan Bell's Shibori Tie-Dye Fabric

For their final project as Painters in Residence, the brilliant husband and wife design-duo, Abigail and Ryan Bell (of Abigail*Ryan), created this beautiful shibori dyed fabric – using my paint, Chalk Paint® as a dye!

The pair were inspired by Japanese Shibori, a tie-dying method which uses real indigo. They knew that my paint would be a great substitute for indigo – it is highly pigmented and works incredibly well as a dye.

Abigail and Ryan worked with three blues from the Chalk Paint® palette to make different dyes – Aubusson Blue, Greek Blue and Napoleonic Blue. They mixed each colour with water, using a rough ratio of 1 part paint to 20 parts water.

The couple folded their cotton fabric and secured the folds with rubber bands and clothes pegs as they went along. They then soaked the folded fabric in the dye mix for around 30 minutes. Once the colour had absorbed they rinsed the fabric throughly, un-tied it and left it to dry. (I would recommend leaving your fabric to drip dry outdoors or by a heater. Once dry, iron or tumble dry the fabric to seal the colour. Hand wash or wash the fabric on its own.)

The couple used the fabric to make gorgeous cushions, and to re-upholster the seat cushion of their Parker Knoll chair – which now looks fabulous with the wood painted in Napoleonic Blue too!

I hope you've enjoyed following Abigail & Ryan's projects as my Painters in Residence and have been inspired by their love of bright colours and design.

Yours, Annie

Follow Abigail and Ryan on InstagramFacebook, and their website: www.abigailryan.com

And remember to follow #PaintersInResidence on Instagram and Facebook, as well as my Painters in Residence board on Pinterest.


  1. Beautiful! The cushions look fabulous and I love the colours, thank you to Abigail and Ryan for your inspiration as Artists in Residence. X

  2. I tried this exactly as instructed but the dye got in under the elastic bands even though they were very tight, so the the white of the patterns didn't emerge. Help?

    1. Yes, I know this can happen. You left the fabric in the water too long or the fabric was not tight enough, or there was too much or too thick fabric in the bands.
      Have another go! It does work!

  3. Unless the fabric was pretreated and chalk 'paint' is not really paint, but instead a fiber reactive 'dye', then the cloth is merely painted, not dyed. If washed, the chalk paint dye will come right out of the fabric.