A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Stitch resist shibori - the basics

For this month of experiments we will focus on cotton and silk to work with.
The fabric must be clean/PFD before you start your process.
The thread for binding has to be STRONG as it has to be tighten firmly. Nylon thread is too elastic, dental floss can really be difficult to get it tightly knotted. Cotton is a stable and strong thread and an added advantage is the shrinkage of cotton once in the water, causing the binding to fit even tighter.
Polyester is easier to remove because it takes no color. My tutor (a real shibori expert) Karla de Ketelaere recommended using Guterman Max Mara Polyester Thread, Detex 1000/3, 300 meters:

We will stick to regular stitches this month and see how many possibilities we will have with these!

The proces:


1. Draw your design onto fabric in soft pencil. Thin material may be folded.
2. Systemise the pattern so that the thread can be tied together for contraction.
3. Stitch the pattern, if possible use double threads, which makes tightening and knotting much easier

4. Tie the loose ends together after you have sewn the whole pattern!


When the material has been prepared, it is often an advantage to soak the material into water. Now that the water is in the fabric, the cotton of the binding will shrink and these two facts, will give the dye a hard time to get into the tied parts.

We will not explain the dye process as each of us has its own favourite dye/process.
But we have a few hints,

  1. Use a narrow but high container, so the ratio water/dye solution will be strong enough. These 5 liter containers for water, soap or wine ;-) are great to work with when you remove the top.
  2. Please use salt to make the dye move throught the water. 
  3. And don't forget to add soda in the final stage if you use reactive dyes and cotton. 

PS. For those of you, who prefer a short procedure description, please check this one:

1. Pour the dye solution in the salt solution
2. Place material in this and dye for 30 minutes
3. Remove the material, add the soda solution and continue dyeing for another 60 minutes
The material must be moved about in the dyebath!
4. Rinse in luke warm water until the rinsing water is clear.
5. Remove the thread. It might be helpfull to let the bundles dry before doing so.
6. Decoct in a mild soap detergent

So now that we know the basics, let's start with the straight stitched pieces. Tomorrow Sheila Fowler, one of our teammates this month will share her experiments!

1 comment:

  1. Great suggestions for thread and clear and concise directions for stitching. I'm looking forward to tomorrow...


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