Shibori: Arashi (Pole Wrapping) Technique

Posted by Ciara on 28th Mar 2024

Shibori: Arashi (Pole Wrapping) Technique

Arashi (Pole Wrapping) Technique

Arashi is the Japanese term for “storm.” It’s also known as the pole-wrapping technique because it involves wrapping fabric around a pole (or PVC pipe). The results are beautiful, often resembling water waves.

Select your Dye Type

If the fabric you plan to dye is a natural fabric (such as cotton, linen silk, ramie or wool), rayon or nylon, then select the instructions for working with Rit All-Purpose Dye below.

If the fabric you plan to dye is synthetic (i.e. contains more than 35% polyester, acrylic or acetate), then select the instructions for working with Rit DyeMore for Synthetics below.


  • Rit All-Purpose Dye
  • Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative (Recommended)
  • PVC Pipe (or Similar Width Pipe) Cut to About 2 Feet
  • Rubber Bands
  • Salt (If Dyeing Cotton, Rayon, Ramie or Linen)
  • Vinegar (If Dyeing Nylon, Silk or Wool)
  • Plastic Container or Stainless Steel Sink
  • Dishwashing Liquid
  • Measuring Cup
  • Plastic Gloves
  • Plastic Table Clover


Step 1.

Before dyeing, remove any visibile stains on the fabric. This will help achieve uniform colour results when dyeing. Prewash item in warm, soapy water without any fabric softener. This helps to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.

Step 2.

Gather supplies. Shibori is traditionally done with Indigo hues. Check out our Indigo here!

Step 3.

Cover work area with plastic table cover and have paper towels handy to protect against any possible spills.

Step 4.

Wet fabric and squeeze out any excess water.

Step 5.

To create a traditional Arashi pattern, accordion fold or “fan fold” the length of the fabric in 3-4-inch / 7.5-10-cm wide folds. This will form a long rectangle. To get more pattern variations, vary the size and width of the folds.

Step 6.

After the fabric is folded into a long rectangle, secure one end of the fabric rectangle to a PVC pipe or pole with a rubber band.

Step 7.

Then, wrap the fabric rectangle tightly around the pipe or pole without overlapping it.

Step 8.

After the fabric has been wrapped all the way down the pipe or pole, secure the other end with a rubber band.

Step 9.

Scrunch all the fabric very tightly back up to the top of the pipe or pole.

Step 10.

Fill a plastic container or stainless steel sink with three gallons of hot water. The water should ideally be 140ºF / 60°C. If tap water is not hot enough, heat water on the stove and add to the dyebath.

Step 11.

To enhance the colour: (1) add 1 cup / 240 mL of salt when dyeing fabrics containing cotton, rayon, ramie or linen; (2) add 1 cup / 240 mL of vinegar when dyeing fabrics containing nylon, silk or wool.

Step 12.

Add 1 teaspoon / 5 mL of dish detergent to help promote level dyeing.

Step 13.

As a general guideline, one liquid bottle or two powder packages dyes up to two pounds of dry fabric.

Step 14.

Wearing rubber gloves, add well-shaken dye or powder package(s) to dyebath.

Step 15.

Add wrapped fabric to dyebath. If the fabric on the pipe or pole is too long to fit in the dyebath, use a measuring cup to pour dye over the fabric. For a high contrast pattern, keep the wrapped fabric in the dye for about 3 to 5 minutes to keep the wrapped part dye-free. For more colour and less white areas, let the wrapped fabric set in the dyebath for 10 to 20 minutes.

Step 16.

When desired colour is achieved, remove wrapped fabric from the dyebath. Do not remove the fabric from the pipe or pole.

Step 17.

We strongly recommend using Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative immediately after dyeing and before washing. It enhances the colour, increases color retention and prevents dye from bleeding into white areas. Follow these instructions.

Step 18.

Rinse in cool water until rinse water begins to run clear.

Step 19.

Carefully remove fabric from pipe or pole.

Step 20.

Wash in warm water with a mild detergent, rinse and dry.