GVH Designs

About GVH Design


Grace Vachon Hill


My career in art has taken many paths. With a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration, I am fortunate to have had a fulfilling full time career. With experience in 2D and 3D design, I have explored ceramics, photography,  jewelry making, stained glass, book arts and, most recently, fabric dyeing.

Here are some examples of kanoko, itajime, arashi and ori nui.

My Current Medium

 Shibori is an ancient Japanese technique, dating back to the 8th century, where fabric is compressed in such a way that the dye cannot penetrate the fibers.  Indigo dyes are traditionally used in Shibori. I use permanent Procion MX dyes for my silk and wool/silk scarves and cotton broadcloth. The results vary on each fabric, depending on the way the dyes are absorbed into the fiber. Each piece is unique and even when I repeat the same process, the results vary. Here are some examples of kanoko, itajime, arashi and ori nui.

 After taking a Shibori workshop using indigo dye, I decided to concentrate on using primarily two techniques, arashi and itajime, and Procion MX dyes for more vibrant color.

Shibori Techniques



 The technique I enjoy the most is arashi, which is the Japanese word for ‘storm’. 

It is accomplished by folding fabric in long pleats and wrapping it around a pole, securing it at both ends.  


 A cord is then tied tightly at one end and wound around the pole making small creases in the fabric.   


After pushing the fabric on the pole to one end, causing it to scrunch up, the dye is applied and an activator seals the color chemically into the fibers. 



The resulting pattern is always diagonal lines which represents storm driven rain.


This wool/silk scarf was dyed with barn red, orange, raspberry and scarlet Procion MX dyes.


The dyes penetrate the silk fabric differently, giving a softer look to the color. Dark blue, turquoise and purple dyes were used on 

this scarf.



 Another technique I use is itajime. The fabric is folded into pleats and then accordian folded or flag folded.  


 I two use aluminum shapes and sandwich the fabric between them. These are held in place with C-clamps.  


  After the dye is applied and allowed to set, I use an activator to set the color. After washing the piece, I can finally see the results.