Michael Smith, Fiber Artist

Michael Smith, fiber artist and fashion designer in Asheville, North Carolina creates women’s clothing from non-traditional Shibori on studio-made washable silk and rayon.

  • Media:
  • Website:
    Michael Smith Shibori
  • Phone:
  • Address:
    Asheville, NC
  • Email:

Michael Smith

Each piece is unique and one-of-a-kind, sewn and dyed one at a time in my studio in Asheville, North Carolina. The technique I use is a non-traditional Shibori.

I use combinations of discharge, immersion, and direct application of color on fabric using a non-traditonal shibori technique employing custom designed devices, alchemy and random surprise. My unique dye process begins on white fabrics including silk charmeuse, chiffon, crepe d’chine, and silk/rayon velvet. T-Shirts begin with either white or black cotton shirt blanks.

The fabric is folded between one and three times. Sopping wet, it is manipulated with dexterous fingers and put through the Crinkleator (artist constructed mechanical device) to set the controlled random fractalated patterns. Bound between special stainless steel grids, the prepared fabric is immersed in a series of fiber reactive dye solutuions. I typically use three separate color immersion stages to build the complex color combinations.

After the dye process is complete the fabric undergoes a series of hot water machine washes to clear excess dye. The finished shibori fabric is then sewn into fine washable garments. Beautiful clothing that is both functional and wearable art.

The shibori dye process is like manifesting spirit into form out of the Primordial Chaos. I have some exercise of intent, will and control, but what comes out of the dye pot through the mysterious interactions of the colors, fabric and the forces involved is totally unique and alive. It is alchemy and beautiful magic.

I have been making wearable fiber art for over 25 years and have worked under the names of: Three Wishes, Chaos, and Mystic Eye.