My embroidery and creative stitching experiences.

DS. 2. Ch 6 Continued.


The cat’s face says it all, I am so busy with shibori I have no time for him!

After completing the stitching, winding and tying I moved everything out to the summer house, where the dying was taking place.

For this part of chapter 6 I did a bit more research into dying the cotton. There seems to be a lot of different opinions on what is needed and how to mix each solution. Eventually I settled for ………………..Shibori p? (list ing, and process)but I missed out the urea. Further reading on the use of this would suggest for my purposes it was not really necessary.

I did not remove anything from the dye bucket until after the recommended 1 hour.

I had tied a sample piece to a bit of thread and looped it over the side so that I could take it out and see the depth of colour before removing anything else. I was really happy with the results so the exciting bit went ahead.

I took samples out in batches as this was easier to work with in the untying, rinsing and washing process. This meant that some samples were in longer than others but I can’t see that this had any impact on the colour so I have put these samples into technique groups rather than groups of batches of various techniques.

Tritik Shibori



1. Diagonal stitching was used here. Unfortunately there is a tear in the left hand side. I could kick myself, I should have been more careful.

2. This sheet was folded concertina fashion. I drew semi-circles on the folds and sewed around the lines. (p. 45, Karamatsu Shibori, Shibori for Textile Artists by Janice Gunner.)

I only did 2 tritik pieces. I should hang my head in shame but still I find the other methods more exciting! Perhaps I will go back and do more of these later. I do like the results you can get but I am lacking patience these days and the poor results from my experiments have put me off a little.(And to be fair there is a tiny bit of tritik in a sample still to come.)

Tie & Dye






3. I used elastic bands, twine and thread to wind round sections of material. I also stitched some circles with thread. ( Tritik again!). I should have sewn more circles in different areas. Why do these things always occur to me when it is too late. I guess this is called ” learning from your mistakes!”

4. I used garden wire to secure different sized buttons into place. It was easy to wind round and tighten up securely and easier to remove than thread. I appreciate though that the resulting marks will be different.

5. Lots of elastic bands  at about 1 cm apart, wound round bunched and twisted fabric created this  delight.




6 and 7 have both been scrunched up into a ball. 6. was tied up with twine and 7. was held together with elastic bands. They are very similar but on closer inspection the lines on 7. are softer and on 6. they are finer and sharper.




I used little clamps on the folded edges of 8.

Although I did not use clamps on 9. I thought they looked similar enough to group together. I simply folded this the same way as 8. and tied it with garden wire to hold it together. I am delighted with the contrast of light and dark and the shapes in 8. but  the softer quality of marks in 9. is easier on the eye and not quite so dramatic!


IMG_552110.  I wondered (quite late at night!) what would happen if the material was braided, so I tore this A4 sheet of fabric into strips,  braided, folded and tied up with elastic bands. It can only be described as very random and I am not sure how I feel about it apart from liking the lines on the top part!

Arashi Shibori






11. and 12. were on the same pole. However the material could not be pushed down far enough for all of it to be immersed in the dye so I poured the dye over 11. at intervals. If I had made the pole shorter I could have used the cat litter tray but I would still have needed to turn the pole or pour dye over it.

13. I found a cylindrical, wooden candle holder which has a larger diameter than the other pipe! It is also much shorter. I had a piece of cloth, I quickly wrapped it with bits of twine and thread I had lying around and pushed  it into the bucket. It floated! I had to laugh, I thought I had found the answer to all my problems and it bobbed back up at me! However I had another candlestick which I wedged it down with. Revenge is sweet!





Just like 11. and 12. above, I4. and 15. were on the same pole and I had to go through the same process with 14. This one was held in place with elastic bands whereas 15 was wrapped with thread. I love the fine lines created by the thread, especially where the colour is at it’s deepest.

And Finally!

IMG_5524I had a few bits n bobs of calico, cotton and wool lying around so I threw them in the dye for a short while. I did not take the wrapper off the middle of the wool. I was surprised to see spaces where it had been given it was not tightly wrapped.


I thought it would be a good idea o cut the fat quarter of this hexagon material in half and throw part into the dye as it was.

I later began to think perhaps this was not such a good idea and when I removed it from the dye after a short time my fears were vindicated as it was completely black with no pattern showing at all! However after a good wash the pattern reappeared. Whew! The image shows the original cloth on the left and on the right top the right side and on the bottom the wrong side, after dying.

I am so much happier with these results compared to the first experiments. I would definitely use the same formula for mixing again, it was so easy to do and gave really satisfying results quite quickly. The only thing I would say is I would half the quantities for the amount of cloth I used here, as I could easily have dyed twice as much fabric.

I could think more about combining techniques, taking materials out earlier to get a greater range in shade and trying out other materials.

The cat is still waiting for attention but has moved behind me so that I am perched on the edge of my seat. Time for a little cat cuddle!


Comments on: "DS. 2. Ch 6 Continued." (1)

  1. Great results with your shibori – wonderful contrast, and some of them look quite two-dimensional.

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