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.

Friday, October 24, 2014



It is hard to believe we are now posting our last samples of shibori.
This week's samples were fun to create. The results, once out of the dye bath and stitches removed and unfolded, revealed new exciting results.
It seemed that every good idea sparked another. Finally I married up my machine drawn work on the pleater with the enclosing shapes. I have posted a photo of the pleater working fabric through it to answer the questions about how it worked.

The fabric is rolled around a dowel and fed from the back into the rollers. It is crimped as it turns and the series of needles (up to 24 full rows and 12 extra half width rows) take a nip into the fabric. Once the fabric is through the pleater, it is carefully slid off the needles.

This sample showcases simple box shapes that were hand sewn on linen. There was not a lot of overlapping when pulling up the shapes.

 SAMPLE 2: A Flower
This sample was sewn on raw silk. The fabric was folded in half. This meant I stitched two half ovals over the fold and three ovals positioned between the two half ovals.

The heart was hand stitched on linen.  I couldn't find the stitched design photo although I remember taking one. Basically it was five rows stitched close to one another in the shape of the outer outline of the heart.

SAMPLE 4: Branch with leaves
The outlines were drawn and sewn on a pre-dyed cotton yellow-green fabric. Several types of stitches were used to create the branch- whip or overcast stitch for the branch, running stitch around the leaves, and a running stitch on a fold for the center of the leaves. Interesting patterns evolved when the leaf shapes were tightly drawn and the fabric squished.

The design was sewn on the silk duplioni fabric. It was a larger piece at 12 X 12 inches. It was sewn flat. There were four large petals, four smaller petals and a circle in the center.

SAMPLE 6: circles
The silk duplioni fabric was folded in half. Half circles were drawn on the fold and the opposite raw edge.  They were stitched and echoed for five more rows. The shapes were tightly drawn up and then dyed.

Once I returned home from my travels, I did try several more shapes that I will share with you. I made a circle, an oval and star on the pleater by picking up the fabric and removed the extra stitching that I didn't need for the shape.
The circle is just OK. There is much room for improvement! I used a thin sewing polyester thread that I doubled as I forgot my thicker, better thread at home when I went to my quilting satellite. the sample is on linen.

Again thin thread doubled was used on rayon. It was not really sturdy enough for the task. But will work as a background.

My stormy gray redeemed itself! I used a deep concentration on raw silk. It required a lot of the pleater thread to be removed to make the shape. It was still the thin polyester thread but drew the thicker fabric much better. I took an idea from Eke and used embroidery floss to define the drawn shape.

The last pleater drawn sample was my idea for a multi-color tulip. I drew rows across the width of the raw silk fabric. I broke the lines to allow for the middle petal to be hand stitched vertically. The fabric was soaked in golden yellow and at the 20 minute mark, some rust orange powder was stirred into the dye, soda ash was added and the fabric put back in the liquid. The final result was somewhat undefined. I outline stitched around the basic shape using some of my hand dyed floss.

The final sample was created on rayon using dental floss and four rows of echo stitched resist were created with dental floss. I made this sample to compare the result to the pleater drawn up star. I thought this would be my favorite but I do like the pleater drawn one better.

·         Thread weight and choices definitely make a difference.
·         Rayon consistently gives me the crispest lines.
·         The thicker fabrics consistently give more texture - raw silk, linen, silk duplioni.

I am including two lovely pieces created by my friend, Lynda Williams. She gave me permission to post. She had done a lot of indigo work. These are two of my favorite pieces.
The star was created with a variety of stitches and carefully planned angles of stitching. Beautiful!

Here is a magnificent turtle. Washers and other shapes formed the shell within the stitching. There were hundreds of threads to pull ! I find this truly inspirational.

And this brings me to the end of my shibori experiments for now. My regret is that I was unable to hit the indigo pot or explore discharge work with the shibori techniques but that leaves me new frontiers to conquer.
I have enjoyed the process of creating samples to share with you. I do thank  Nienke for the opportunity to share my experimentation.
Happy dyeing and may all your drawn work shibori designs be good ones!



  1. I can see you had a lot of work to do and you created nice samples. The pleater seems a nice tool to me. I also love the work of your friend, which surely would have taken many hours.

  2. The leaves on the green fabric really are the ones I find most successful. Great work! Thread does make a big difference. I like to use nylon upholstery thread.

  3. I have enjoyed each of these shibori posts - so wonderful and inspiring. That turtle - just beautiful!

  4. very cool design...and I love your bright colours!
    The turtle that your friend made is amazing!

  5. I especially like your circles done on the dupioni silk and the turtle made by your friend. Did she stitch individually around each washer and other item? Very lovely!

  6. Truly inspirational, that are the right words, for the turtle but also the other pieces. Thank you so much for your big contribution to this month's series of posts! It was my pleasure to work together!


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