TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List | Decorating with Textiles: Cape Cod Shibori

Decorating with Textiles: Cape Cod Shibori

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Cape Cod Shibori

Cape Cod Shibori by Rachel Switzer

Rachel Switzer

Rachel Switzer has enjoyed exploring many textile techniques from early childhood on to adulthood. Her current passion is dyeing fabrics using shibori folding techniques. She sells fabric, pillow covers and other home accessories in her shop on Etsy, Cape Cod Shibori. Rachel lives in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA, and shares her home with us today in our Decorating with Textiles series. She learned about it through our TAFA Group on LinkedIn and we are pleased to have her as a guest!


Most of us have a home full of textiles. We have a closet full of clothes, blankets, rugs, upholstery, even a rag box in the basement. And what about the kitchen? Dish cloths, pot holders, napkins and tablecloths. With some, we think only in terms of their usefulness, while others are purely decorative. It’s a treat when our functional items and pattern and color collide. Along with being surrounded by pattern and color, I enjoy the processes of many textile arts. Every textile in today’s post was made by me.

Here are some patterned Shibori pillows for comfort and color in the bedroom:

shibori pillows


A primitive hooked wool rug for warmth and decoration:

hooked rug by Rachel Switzer

One way to I love to display textiles in the home, is to put them in a frame. It encourages viewing the fabric in terms of pattern and color. Here is a woven example:

framed weaving by Rachel Switzer

A triptych of Indigo dyed hand stitched Shibori patterns:

framed indigo shibori

The kitchen can be a festive place to display fabrics we love. Here is a contemporary Arashi Shibori table runner I made using some re-purposed Indigo dyed linen napkins:

shibori runner

Altering the look of the table is as easy as changing the linens. Here is another recycled linen piece pleated and dyed in Indigo:

indigo dyed shibori runner

I already mentioned upholstery. Here is a way to get even a remnant of a favorite fabric out of your stash and into plain view. This chair only needed a fat quarter:

upholstered chair with indigo

I also like how the colors in the quilt echo the map colors.

There are many wonderful mass produced fabrics. It’s hard not to bring home every great pattern I see in the fabric store to add to my stash, or yearn for that graphic rug I see in a catalog. Chances are they are less expensive than a one-of-a-kind specially made item. So why bother? There could be many reasons. Unique personal style and self expression is one. You also may be able to better determine if your choices are made with ethical practices, regarding both labor and the environment.

Happy Hunting for those special handmade items! It can be a delightful journey.

Rachel Switzer has dabbled in embroidery, quilting, rug hooking, batik and weaving but works mostly in the Shibori technique these days. She enjoys creating housewares and fabric for quilters under the name of Cape Cod Shibori. You can purchase her work in her shop on Etsy and follow her on Pinterest and Facebook


Decorating with Textiles Series

Many thanks to Rachel for sharing her home with us!

Would you like to participate in this series? The Decorating with Textiles Series is an ongoing project on this blog. This offer is open to all of you out there who love textiles. Many of our TAFA members make beautiful decorative textiles and functional work as well and showcasing these homes can help stimulate new ideas of what to do with textiles. Seeing a photo online is much different than seeing how a textile will function in an environment. Many people appreciate textiles but have no idea how to display them or what to do with them. We’d like to have many people participate in this series, each bringing in their own ideas and tastes.

Make sure to leave a comment for Rachel. I know that would please her immensely!

Contact me if you are interested and would like to submit a post:

rayela [@] comcast.net (remove spaces and brackets)

Visit TAFA to see inspiring art quilts, weavings and accessories for the home. Maybe you will find the perfect thing for your home!

Also check out our TAFA Market and our TAFA shops on Etsy!

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I've been working with the arts and craft world in many capacities since 1988. Handmade textiles have been my core focus since launching TAFA in 2010.

My hope is to contribute to the economic development potential the arts bring to the world, along with the intrinsic beauty shown in the work. May the world become a friendlier place for artists and nature!

Arrived in Kentucky after a childhood in Brazil, college in Minnesota and 20 years in Chicago. It's been a ride!


on Decorating with Textiles: Cape Cod Shibori.
  1. |

    I got my fabrics from Rachel and they are just gorgeous!

  2. |

    Thanks for sharing this great blog with us Rachel. I have recycled so many items in my house too but never came up with your splendid idea to put it up in a blog or my website. Just goes to show how some of us “undermine” our textile recycling imagination.

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