Shibori Silk in Jewelry

Design Idea E62Z Bracelet
by Leslie, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Have you seen the gorgeous textures created with silk in jewelry called shibori? If not, prepare yourself to fall in love with this technique. Learn about where shibori silk came from and how it's being used in modern jewelry applications today. If you have already seen it, you're still in for a treat of designs to inspire your creative mind.

Shibori Silk in Jewelry Originally seen as early as the 8th century, shibori came from Japan as a method of resist-dyeing cloth. The art of cloth dyeing has been seen all around the world, but Japan was one of the first to have perfected it. The cloth was most commonly silk or cotton, and it is bound, folded, twisted and/or compressed to create visually intriguing patterns. Japan has always been known for its gorgeous cultural fashion, and this method of dyeing made it easier for those who could not afford high-end materials or clothing of the day to still create colorful and eye-catching garments to wear.

Shibori is a versatile base for beadwork and a design element itself. In jewelry, these designs are given a textural effect by stitching shibori into folds as a base for embellishment. A huge benefit of shibori is it offers high visual and tactile impact over a large surface area without adding a bunch of weight to designs. Shibori silk is often seen decorated with seed beads, gemstone or Lunasoft cabochons, buttons, pearls and crystals.

Seed and Bugle Beads Lunasoft Lucite Cabochons Button Components Pearls Crystal Passions Crystal Beads

Using a stiff backing such as Lacy's Stiff Stuff™, leather scrap or other preferred surface, shibori presents a world of creative opportunity. Twist it, bunch it, stretch it and stitch it in any shape. The silk can be made to resemble hair such as in Frederica Strada's silver medal Crystal Passions contest piece Daenerys, Mother of the Dragons as well as feathers like in Sherry Serafini's finalist piece The Raven from the Bead and Button® Bead Dreams contest.

From an accent ripple to a whole piece swirling with waves of this technique, shibori silk is decidedly elegant. For this reason, wedding jewelry has seen an increasing amount of shibori silk adding a soft element teeming with custom pastel color schemes.

Wherever you plan on adding this technique to your jewelry creations, rest assured shibori is a crowd-pleasing and highly desired look in fashion-forward designs.
Shibori Silk in Jewelry

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