pepa and karen

In the next instalment of our Five Things series, we chat to the girls behind textile brand Shibori. Shibori is a fascinating Japanese fabric printing technique. They dying technique dates back centuries but Pepa and Karen have found a unique way to modernise it and apply the technique to various homewares textiles. To find out more about the girls and the fascinating Shibori method read below.

  1. What’s the short version of how you started Shibori?

Shibori came about because Karen and I had a similar design aesthetic. In a time of bare white walls and clean screen printed fabrics, Karen and I were experimenting with splashing dyes and exploring imperfection.  It was a few brave retailers and interior designers that took on our collection and gave us the encouragement to persist with our designs and brand.

  1. Tell us about an average day in your office. 

Our studio is broken up into three sections; the front is a small shop displaying our products and selling our offcuts, then we have the office and workshop space.  Some days are spent creating new designs, which are made by hand before being digitally redefined and other days can be teaching workshops or a whole lot of orders and paper work.   Although no two days are the same, there is always something to laugh about!



  1. What’s the biggest misconception about running a creative business?

Many people come to our workshops and say they would love to work with us and do what we do.  Trust me, we know how lucky we are to be living a creative life and following our dream but there is a lot of stress and self doubt in making your art commercial.  A lot of big production for hotel fit outs and the “fabric emergencies” can make making very stressful.

  1. What are your homes like? Comfy, cosy or minimalist zen?!

Karen and I both have very different homes.  Karen is a more colourful and flamboyant character while I am a bit more practical and zen (comes with age I guess hahaha!)  We both love design and are very particular about the pieces we purchase and like everything to tell a story.

  1. Is Shibori just fancy tie dye or is it a different process? 

Shibori is the Japanese art of resist dyeing and the basis for tie dye.  If you look at the traditional Japanese shibori pieces you can see where the inspiration for tie dye came from. Shibori is very precise and generally follows a clear pattern repeat, tie dye is free spirited and known for it’s bright colours.  We have our own version of shibori in a more contemporary way, playing with the design elements and principles with oversized elements and imperfect lines and textures.