Category Archives: shibori

Stitched Resist Results/Tutorial

I had quite a few people ask me to share my process so I thought I would do a mini tutorial. 
You will need Mx dyes, urea, print paste, soda ash and a paint brush. 

1. Prepare the print paste mix the night ahead. I started with 2 cups of water , 2T urea and 2 T print paste. It was way too runny so I added a few more tablespoons until it was like syrup. It thickened overnight to the consistency of thick honey which was perfect.

2. I had stitched this piece of cotton with my design of choice using upholstery thread. I pulled the threads tight and tied a square knot in about 3 threads at a time.

Stitched and tied piece ready to dye
3. I mixed my soda ash a little stronger than usual-1/4 cup to 1 Liter. I applied the soda ash to the piece using a brush as I really didn’t want it soaked through. I wanted to see more white than actual color in the back ground. 
4. Dyes were mixed stronger than usual too: 30 grams MX dye, 2 T urea and 250 milliliters of water. 
5. I added some of the mixed dyes to the print paste and stirred it thoroughly. I used Prochem’s deep navy, tangerine and loden which is an olivey green. 
Dyes mixed and added to the print paste

6. I again used a paint brush to apply the dye/print paste mixture.

Print paste and Dye mix applied

7. I covered it in plastic wrap so it wouldn’t dry out and let it batch  overnight.

Covered in plastic to batch in a warm place overnight

8. The next day I carefully cut the tied threads and pulled it out prior to rinsing. I really need a seam ripper, tweezers and my small scissors. It was time consuming but exciting to see the reveal.

Pulling out the threads prior to rinsing

9. Then I rinsed in cold, then hot and popped it in the washing machine with a little synthrapol.

final piece

close up

I didn’t look at my surface design notebooks or the many books I have….I was impatient and was just winging it but it turned out really pretty.  I am sure the many books out there have more concise instructions but this is how I did it!

I am going to pick out some of my hand dyed embroidery threads and have a new stitching project to work on.

Trying Some Arashi Shibori

     This past week’s lesson in the  online shibori class was on pole wrapping or arashi shibori. I took an old piece of pvc pipe and wrapped my fabric around it. I methodically and slowly wrapped the pole in about 1/8 of inch increments and then dipped the pole in colorhue dye. Instant color.

For these four pieces of silk,  I used the color eggplant and rose which I really did not like. Maybe I will try overdyeing this.

That’s what I love about dyeing-you can always change your results-until you get mud….then you just start fresh with white again.

Let’s see what else I can sneak in this week while they are sleeping in.

Be creative, my friends!

Catching Up

     First, let me thank you for your comments on my last little piece. Orange feels more comfortable now.   Not a like but definitely more comfortable.  

   Back at it again this week after a quick trip to Connecticut for a funeral. I had so much fun catching up with old friends, enjoying Connecticut scenery and eating some great New England clam chowder. It is a place I easily slipped back into despite the sad circumstances. Hard to leave.

      I came back with a clogged tear duct which needed medical attention. It has happened before so I hope I caught it early enough….just something odd to deal with while playing catch up. Bothersome more than anything.

     I ended up spending the last few nights catching up on my shibori class. The stitching for these small exercises is time consuming. But just like everything else that takes time, the results are really pretty. Everyone keeps asking me what I will do with these samples and I have decided that the successful ones will be part of a class sampler-all included in one piece once the class is done. Two more lessons are coming my way in the next two weeks.

     I didin’t realize that there are different names for different stitching techniques and this  blue one is makiame.

Oriniui example-this one was the most time consuming.

Another makiame. I thought the heart could be for a special bookmark.

A few nights work. When I think of the beautiful kimonos I have seen, I am in awe over their patience with stitching such intricate designs.

 Now waiting for another lesson to come today.

Be creative, my friends. Off to take down Christmas lights. That is really pathetic.

Aliens and Shibori

     I was taking some pictures before I dipped the last few pieces of silk in the dyepot and my son said-“what are they-aliens?” I agree it is kind of bizarre looking but this is how the silk is after I have stitched a pattern in with upholstery thread and pulled everything tight.

     They are all bundled tight and placed in water before I stick them in the dye.  And then after a quick rinse, the pulling out of the stitching begins. And the reveal is made. Better than opening a present.


     The first one on the left was from a  previous post and the thread had broken when I was removing it.
The other two purple pieces are finally a little better results. The lower right are a few itajame pieces but I still can’t get clear results and I suspect my results might improve with a smoother silk versus the more open and nubby weave.

     Don’t ask me what I will do with all this beautiful silk yet because I don’t know.

     Another storm warning for tonight and this time  calling for ice. But first we will sit in the slush for the first soccer game of the season. 🙂 Oh boy.

Be creative, my friends!

The Softness of Silk Continued

     I am really happy it’s Friday. I am even happier that I am done with elementary school carnival volunteering. Tonight was the last for me. I will miss lots of things about elementary school but not the dreaded carnival…. a big sigh of relief …ahhh…my feet are up and I am relaxing.

     I really do love this silk. This week we are working on actual shibori- stitching and then dyeing.  I have a new respect for the amount of time it takes to stitch intricate patterns. I had trouble tugging on the thread too hard so hours of stitching were lost with a broken thread. But I did come up with a lovely piece of fabric despite that.

     I have two more small pieces in the works so hope to dip them tomorrow. The reveal when you undo it is just too much fun. One thing I know for certain is that I love to dye fabric of any kind. (I need to figure out how to post on the class site….)

    Also, snuck in another small piece. I am trying to not post until things are finished but just a little peek.
I made myself use orange. And I am liking orange.

     Whew, I am glad it’s Friday, aren’t you?

Be creative, my friends!