Who else wants to produce an attractive acorn in tie dye

shibori acorn and oak leaf


Here is another pretty little design to make in stitch resist shibori. I have experimented with creating an acorn and tried a number of ways of doing this. I have incorporated this design into a number of lamp shades. So here goes on how to sew this design.

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 where I show very clearly the process of Shibori sewing.

3 steps to making your own acorn design

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 shape of an acorn is 1/3rd cup and 2/3rds acorn. So divide the area for your acorn into 3 and mark the bottom 1/3rd for the cup and the top 2/3rds for the actual acorn. Draw a short line downwards at the bottom of the cup to mark the stem.

Stitching your design

The acorn is stitched around with a double thread starting and ending at the same place leaving long ends for pulling up later. It is helpful to keep your starting and ending place on the outside of the acorn shape, it makes it all easier.

The acorn cup itself is created by folding the fabric in half along the centre line of the cup and then sew the 5 or 6 lines of simple running stitches through both layers of fabric with double thread and a small cotton “tag” knotted into the end of each row of double thread.

A stem can be added from the bottom of the seed head, to a length suitable for your fabric or design. This is created by carefully folding along the line of the stem. With a double thread and small cotton “tag” in the end sew through 2 layers of fabric. Sew a second line parallel with the first line.

Pulling up the stitching

Now it is time to pull all the stitching up. Start with acorn. Pull the thread up gathering the fabric tightly and knotting. Take 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 acorn cup stitching. 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. The thread needs to be pulled up very tight but without breaking it!

If you are adding a stem you then pull this up securing the end as described above.


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.

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Here is a slightly alternative design : the acorn is a textured pattern and the cup is plainer. A photo of the stitching used to achieve this is shown to help you. Have fun with your acorns!

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