Say hello to shibori, an age-old Japanese dyeing method that’s back on the scene in a big way. Reminiscent of tie-dye, this look is as soothing as it is enticing, and – best of all – it’s easy to do yourself.
Gather your supplies
• Indian cotton duckcloth in Natural/White, quantity to suit
• Rit fabric dye powder in Navy Blue
• 215 x 800 x 12mm plywood
• 215 x 800 x 50mm mediumdensity foam mattress
Polyester batting, quantity to suit
You’ll also need
Medium-sized bulldog clips; 20mmlong dowel sticks or timber chopsticks; rubber bands; rubber gloves; small bucket; salt; stirrer; large tubs (2); drop sheet; scissors; staple gun and staples; picture hanging rail kits (2); drill and bits; screws to suit; 8mm-thick timber strip
1. Our plywood and foam measurements suit a queen size bed. Adjust these measurements to suit your bed
2. Dye a larger piece of fabric than required so you have extra freedom in moving the pattern around your bedhead to get the best look. You might wish to dye a simple throw as we did, too.
Dying the fabric
Step 1 Wash cotton duckcloth without detergent. Lay out wet fabric and fold it accordion-style to 15cm-wide folds.
Step 2 Clip folds together on both edges of fabric with bulldog clips, spacing clips 5cm apart.
Step 3 Between every 3 bulldog clips, place 1 dowel stick or chopstick on top and 1 on bottom of folded assembly and secure ends of sticks with rubber bands.
Step 4 Wearing rubber gloves, follow product instructions to mix dye in small bucket, adding salt as directed. (We used 2 packets of dye for a more intense colour.)
Step 5 Transfer dye to 1 of the large tubs. Transfer fabric assembly to dye mixture. If fabric assembly is not fully covered, add more water to dye mixture as necessary. Leave for 60 minutes or overnight for a more intense colour.
Step 6 Wearing rubber gloves, carefully remove fabric assembly from dye mixture. Let as much dye mixture drain out of fabric assembly as possible, then lay fabric assembly on a clean drop sheet.
Step 7 Fill second large tub with fresh water. Carefully transfer folded fabric assembly to tub and rinse well.
Step 8 Remove assembly from water and remove bulldog clips. Use scissors to snip rubber bands and remove dowel sticks or chopsticks. Rinse clips and sticks and set them aside for another use.
Step 9 Transfer fabric to washing machine and run through a wateronly wash. Hang fabric to dry.
Making your bedhead
Step 10 Lay batting flat on your work surface. Place foam on top, then plywood on top of foam. Align edges of foam and ply. Wrap batting over edges of foam and ply assembly, then use scissors to trim batting so there is a 4cm overlap at back. Use staple gun to attach batting to ply along 1 side, then pull batting taut and staple other side. Fold batting neatly at corners and staple remaining 2 sides.
Step 11 Take fabric off line and iron if crushed. Lay fabric out flat on your work surface, right side down, and transfer bedhead assembly, foam side down, to fabric.
Step 12 Screw 2 evenly spaced picture-hanging rails to back of bedhead, 10cm from top. Ensure rails are level and that ridge of rails is pointing downward. STEP 13 Screw 2 evenly spaced picture-hanging rails into wall studs or wall plugs in masonry walls, to suit positioning of bedhead (our finished position of bedhead is level with top of mattress). Ensure rails are level and that ridge of rails is pointing upward.
Step 14 Screw timber strip along bottom edge of back of bedhead, about 5cm from edge. This is to ensure bedhead hangs plumb from wall, rather than tilting in at bottom
Step 15 With a helper, bring bedhead into position. Clip downward facing ridge of rails on back of bedhead over upward facing ridge of rails on wall.