How to Make 2 Simple Leaf Designs in Stitch Resist Shibori

Here I show you how to create two simple leaf designs in maki-age shibori

I love using maki-age shibori. Here are more designs to create using this one particular stitch resist shibori technique.

What sort of designs and sizes work?

The effect achieved is of narrow bands of colour radiating out from the centre of the design motif, criss-crossed with small lines. This is such a useful way of working to create irregular patterns, such as leaf stems, petals, seed heads and buds, all types of simplified natural motifs. Each design pattern is first outlined in a running stitch which is pulled up tightly then bound around with a heavier thread. Varied thickness of threads and winding the threads very close together or further apart produce different effects in the finished design.

Here are 2 different leaf designs to try made from maki-age shibori methods:

1. A sprig of leaves.

  • Each leaf shape is drawn onto the fabric and then stitched separately.
  • Every leaf is outlined in running stitches.
  • Each leaf is positioned along a simple run of stitches through folded fabric that creates the stem.
  • The threads are pulled up and then a thick cotton thread is used to wind around the shape. Leaving very little area of fabric exposed.

maki-age shibori leaf sprig


2. A stylised fern.

  • Each leaf shape is stitched separately and is positioned along a stem.
  • Every leaf shape is outlined in running stitches.
  • The stem is created by folding the fabric and stitching running stitches through both layers of fabric.
  • These stitch threads are pulled up and then a thick cotton thread is used to wind around the shape. Leaving very little area of fabric exposed.
  • It is then dyed and after dyeing the stitching unpicked.

Creating with Maki-Age Stitch Resist Shibori

Remember these 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.

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