Brilliant ways to create berries in sophisticated tie dye

shibori leaf and berries

Here is a lovely little berry design to be made from Shibori stitch resist. I will explain how to do this is 3 easy steps. It involves two types of Shibori stitching, to get technical mokume and maki-age Shibori! But very simple when broken down into easy stages.

So as not to repeat my general instructions about sewing please look at this blog post to see the general tips of equipment needed. “7 Helpful Hints for shibori sewing” For visual help look at my video on my website page where I show very clearly the process of Shibori sewing.

3 easy steps to making your own bright berry

Drawing the design

You start by drawing the design on to ready for dyeing fabric (ie prewashed at 60 degrees C/ 140 degress F) with tailors chalk or removable fabric marker. The berry is a tapered round shape, refer to some photographs of different berries, hips and haws to inspire you.

Or make some drawings. At the top add 3 lines getting slightly longer away from the body of the berry to suggest the tendrils at the top.

Stitching your design

shibori stitching for a berry

The berry is stitched around with a double thread starting and ending at the same place leaving long ends for pulling up later. Sew the 3 lines of simple running stitches through one layer of fabric along the top of the berry with double thread and a small cotton “tag” knotted into the end of each row of double thread.

Pulling up the stitching

Now it is time to pull all the stitching up. Start with the berry pull it up, gathering tightly and knotting.

Binding a maki age designTake a slightly thicker thread somewhere between button thread and double knitting weight and start at the bottom of the pulled together shape and knot it around at the base. Then continue winding the thread around til you get to the top and then tie the ends together to secure it.

The next job is to pull up the 3 short lines of parallel stitching, a fiddly job. One by one pull them up 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. Repeat this 3 times. The thread needs to be pulled up very tight but without breaking it!


You now have your design ready for dyeing. If you need help on dyeing with fibre reactive dyes look at my previous blog.

Once dyed you unpick all the stitching to reveal the design.

Here are a few other versions of berries nestling in among the leaves.

I hope you find the instructions helpful and you will try to create a berry in Shibori. You can experiment with different shapes and sizes. Please sign up to my newsletter to get regular ideas and tips on using Shibori to make some lovely designs.


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