Stitch resist shibori lends itself to making natural forms and patterns and particularly to making leaf shapes. Today I will explore 4 different leaf designs that you may like to make. Thin ones, wavy, multi leaf and regular shapes!
Please look at my previous blog that outlines how to stitch shibori and gives lots of useful tips. How to prepare the fabric and what cotton to use. There is also my video which will give you more information.
It is important to draw the whole design before folding so that you achieve the correct shape and feel to your design. You can copy or trace my designs to help you achieve a pleasing pattern.
4 Lovely Leaves
1. Wavy oak leaf
This pretty little leaf is created from mokume shibori which is many rows of parallel stitching This leaf is 8” or 20 cms long. Each row of stitching is ½ cm or ¼ “apart. The black and white image shows the direction of these rows. Surprisingly they are at right angles to the finished pattern as seen. All the stitches are pulled up tightly and tied off at the end and then dyed.
2. Lime leaf
A lime leaf, a regular shape design, is made by folding the fabric in half along the centre line of the leaf and then sew the 8 or 9 lines of simple running stitches parallel to each other through both layers of fabric with double thread and a small cotton “tag” knotted into the end of each row of double thread. One by one pull up the 8 or 9 rows of threads and once pulled up separate the two threads and insert another “tag” between and tie a double knot around it securing the line of stitching. The fabric is then dyed. Here is a blog describing how to make this lime leaf in more detail.
3. Long thin leaf
This pleasing pattern is made in exactly the same way as the lime leaf but a much narrower shape with just 3 rows of stitching parallel to each other.
4. Fern or multi leaf design
This design is also made in a similar way to the previous two but with seven separate leaves. The overall design is 12” or 30cms tall.
Each leaf about 2 ½” or 6cms long is made by folding the fabric in half along the centre of the leaf and sewing 4 or 5 parallel rows of stitching. You need to repeat this 7 times!
The stem is created by carefully making a pleat along the line of the stem so you are pinching 4 thicknesses of fabric in your fingers. With a double thread and small cotton “tag” in the end sew through all the 4 layers of fabric.
All these stitches are gathered up and then dyed and unpick to reveal your design.
I do hope this collection of leaf designs inspires you to have a go creating your own shibori fabrics and patterns. I suggest trying the lime leaf first, it is a very simple but satisfying design to make. Do sign up to my newsletter and download how to make a beech leaf in detailed steps. This will help with learning how to make all the other leaf designs too. Have fun!