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.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Week 3 Parallel Lines with a few variations

Hi...it is Marsha(from coolquilting) again for week 3 with lots of parallel line pieces to share. This technique includes another of my favorite stitched shibori patterns... a traditional shibori pattern called "horse's teeth". As will be seen, it took me a while to figure out how to do it!

There are 2 ways to do stitching on the fold...the first is with simple running stitches and is called ori-nui shibori. With ori-nui, you do 1 row of stitching but get 2 rows of resist. The second way, is using an overcast or whipped stitch and is called maki-nui shibori. Maki-nui results in a distinctive chevron pattern.
Please check all the earlier posts this month to get details about threads, dyes, fabrics and assorted basic shibori techniques. And for more specific info on the parallel line technique, check Nienke's post here.

My first piece was on silk habotai with colorhue dyes. I used the blue French curve to draw the lines to try to prevent them from being dorky. The cloth was folded along a line and stitched with a simple running stitch about 1/8 inch from the fold. This was repeated for each line and then all the threads were tightened up and the fabric was dyed.
The resist worked okay but this piece is not very exciting!

I repeated this with straight stitching, instead of curved stitching. I made 2 separate rows about 3 inches apart, also on silk habotai with colorhue dyes, I stitched quite close to the fold:

Again, good resist but not too exciting. Straight line folds are much easier to work with when using the slippery habotai.

Next I did the straight stitching on a double fold(bottom left photo in the collage below). This was in an effort to produce the "horse's teeth" pattern. The collage also shows my attempt to make some brief notes on an index card:

The resist is good but it doesn't look like horse's teeth does it?? The 2 folds were about 1" apart in this attempt.

So, I tried again with the distance between the folds decreased to about 3/4 of an inch:
Getting better, but still not the typical horse's teeth pattern. But I think it is quite pretty anyways....

The habotai is quite thin, so I tried once more but this time with thicker silk noil fabric and it worked great. The distance between the folds is about 3/4 inch. You can see that it doesn't take many stitches to get across the 6 inches of fabric, so it stitches up really quickly:
It looks like horse's teeth doesn't it...I just love this effect! I have seen this technique done on gently curved lines too! 

I also tried the ori-nui with both single and double fold techniques on PFD cotton and Procion MX dyes.The top row is just stitching on a single fold, and the bottom is the "horse's teeth".
The stitching and folding was quite uneven..I have since learnt to press the cotton to have the folds stay in place! However, I didn't let this little and less-than-perfect piece go to waste ...I used it to make a little "treat" holder to take on walks with my dog. I thought it was appropriate since my dog is "all-teeth"!!

A common use of the ori-nui is for fancy and intricate designs. I attempted to do a 5 petal flower. This was done with Procion MX dyes on cotton. The original design in the dark lines had the petals too close to each other, so I modified it to make skinnier petals. I stitched each side of the petals separately(on a fold) so there were 10 lines of stitching to tighten.
It worked reasonably well..but I found it very tricky trying to shape the folds, hard to tighten up everything when the stitch lines are close together..and hard to keep track of what lines have been tightened or not. I found it best to start stitching all the folds in the center and tying them all off on the outside!

Lastly, I tried the overhand stitching or maki-nui. This stitching is very fast since you are able to whip the needle with quite a few stitches up and over the fold before drawing up the fabric. I found that it was hard to keep the stitches even and hard to tighten the stitches evenly. But it does give a nice chevron effect and a different pattern to combine with ori-nui for variety:

The top yellow piece was on silk noil with colorhue dyes and the bottom blue piece was cotton with Procion MX dyes.

So that is it for me this week..next week is area-enclosing...and surprise, surprise, another of my favorite shibori techniques!!


  1. Love those horses teeth! I'll be trying this asap!

  2. Lot of nice lines and good to hear about your experience with the silk habotai. What weight or thickness did you use?

  3. I used 8 mm habotai...from Dharma Trading. I ordered it because it was a mid-weight habotai. I haven't tried other weights yet. Even though I say there are problems with it being thin and slippery I still really like working with it because it dyes so easily with the colorhue dyes.

  4. Fabulous photos of your process! Sheila

  5. I don't (can't) quilt but I love your design work.

  6. I don't (can't) quilt but I love your design work.

  7. I am loving this series, having done quite a bit of shibori myself. I love the horse's teeth. I've never heard it called that, but of course that is what it looks like.


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