Creating with Maki-Age Shibori – 1

Creating with Maki-Age Shibori

3 simple patterns to make.

Today I am going to look at how to create designs using one particular stitch resist shibori technique, maki-age shibori.

This technique of binding and stitching fabric to create stylised natural motifs was first developed in Japan in the 14th century. Here is a coloured example of an early stitched and capped design from “Shibori the inventive art of Japanese dyeing” by Wada, Rice and Barton, the shibori bible!

What sort of designs and sizes work?

The typical effect is of wide and narrow bands radiating out from the centre of the design motif. This is such a useful way of working to create irregular patterns, such as petals, seed heads and buds, all types of simplified natural motifs. It can also be used to great effect in a simple circle. Each design pattern is first outlined in a running stitch which is pulled up tightly then bound around with a heavier thread. I will show in the photos how using varied thickness of threads and winding the threads very close together or further apart produce different effects in the finished design.

Here are 3 different designs made from maki-age shibori methods:

1. This first example is a simple bud shape, made from 4 separate sections which are each outlined in running stitches. The threads are pulled up and then a button weight polyester thread is used to wind around the shape leaving quite a good amount of the gathered fabric exposed.Creating with Maki-Age Shibori

2. Compare this with this seed pod design in orange where a thicker thread has been used for binding the shape and the fabric nearly completely concealed, this produces a much whiter design with just a little bit of coloured texture remaining. In this design there are 3 separate sections each stitched with running stitches and then bound.

Creating with Maki-Age Shibori

3. In the third example, a simple seed pod, the maki age shibori has been combined with tying in some beads as though seeds bursting out. Here the shape has been bound with the thicker thread and leaving some fabric exposed to receive the dye.

Creating with Maki-Age Shibori - seed head
Here are some extra hints to make it a success:

  • Always wash the fabrics you are going to use at 60 degrees before you start to ensure any finish is removed or buy fabrics ready for dyeing.
  • Use Polyester thread because this rarely breaks
  • Use sewing thread double for strength and for ease of tying off
  • Use a strong linen or cotton warp thread to do the binding.
  • Take care to ensure the thread includes all the lumps and bumps of pulled up fabric. Tie an extra binding cotton around the base of the gathered stitching if you are unsure if you have gathered it all in.

Hope that helps.

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