Shibori Pillows

Fabric dyeing is a fun and creative activity that yields one-of-a-kind results. The shibori fabric folding technique originated during the 8th century in Japan. It looks as great today as it did hundreds of years ago!
By  Niki Meiners 

size varies


  • White cotton fabric
  • Muslin
  • Indigo dye kit
  • Poly-fil fiberfill
  • Fairfield Processing Smooth Fusible Fleece
  • Twine


  • Sewing machine and coordinating thread 

basic supplies

  • Scissors
  • Big bucket
  • Needle and thread
  • Iron and pressing surface
  • Rubber bands or binder clips
  • Rubber gloves
  • Drop cloth
  • Straight pins

This idea was originally published in our 2016 Fall issue. Subscribe today and save off newsstand prices! You’ll get ALL the projects delivered to you in six jam-packed issues per year. 

Project Instructions

1. Fold entire fabric like an accordion. Bind together using string, rubber bands or binder clips. The bind folds will prevent dye from penetrating parts of fabric. To see more fabric and less dye, use larger folds and more binder clips or rubber bands. To see more indigo and less fabric, use smaller folds and fewer binder clips or rubber bands.

2. Soak fabric in dye according to manufacturer’s directions. Use hottest water possible when soaking. Rinse dye out of fabric with cool water then wash and dry. Refer to photo to see the color variations based on soak time.

3. Cut shibori fabric, muslin and fleece to desired pillow size. Add seam allowance to measurements. Iron fleece to wrong side of shibori fabric.

4. Place right sides of front and back fabrics together and pin in place. Sew only three sides together. Sew along fourth side leaving a small opening for stuffing.

5. Turn pillow cover right side out and stuff fiberfill into opening.  Once desired pillow firmness is achieved, whip stitch opening closed or machine-sew.