Let me introduce you to some straightforward instructions and images for creating 3 different stitch resist patterns in fabric by simple folding and stitching. Folding and tying in these uncomplicated ways produces some lovely patterns. These fabrics are dyed with indigo, I have written about how to dye with indigo.
1. Plain stripe.
Firstly here is a plain stripe. The cotton fabric is folded in a concertina fold along its length and then sandwiched between 2 softwood sections. Allowing a few mm of fabric to poke out which will create a blue stripe slightly narrower than the white. Bind the softwood sections together at the ends and make a few stitches in the middle to hold the fabric and wood “sandwich” firmly. Soak in water before putting in the indigo vat.
2. Textured stripe.
The second example is an old vintage linen, concertina folded again (as shown above) and a row of a few running stitches through all layers in two places, and pulled up. Again soak in water before putting in the indigo vat. Different weights of cotton and linen will give different effects.
3. Linear pattern.
The third piece is vintage linen concertina folded into 7 equal sections. Then stitch through the whole 7 layers, using linen or button thread for strength and then gather the fabric up as much as possible. A lovely idea for a scarf with a clear pattern at the ends and a muted pattern on the inside folds. Again soak well in water before putting in the indigo vat.
I hope you will enjoy experimenting with these easy and satisfying patterns. Sign up to my newsletter to keep updated on lots of new ideas for shibori designs and patterns.