Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fabrics to Stitch by Hand

A client asked me recently which fabrics do I like best for hand stitching?

I do have a lot of experience stitching shibori by hand. I can tell you my favorites for hand stitching. I'm always on the lookout for new fabrics and love it when I find something that works well for shibori AND is sustainable and organic.

Here are my choices for hand stitching:

Hemp Linen

super easy to hand needle. Threadcount is 54 by 54. Has the look and feel of flax linen, but feels sturdier to me.  Takes a beating. Compresses nicely for crisp shibori patterning. Available in my store, but look for it online too -- you may find a better deal elsewhere, depending on how much you buy. Sometimes called "summercloth". A really fine quality cloth.

Hemp Silk Blend

Easy to stitch but more delicate than the linen. Have to be careful when removing stitches -- the silk content means you can get small holes in it if you try to rush through and pull the stitches out aggressively.  Heavier weight than a crepe de chine with an interesting weave and a nice subtle sheen. Difficult to find.

Organic cotton gauze

Not sure what the threadcount is on this, but it is tighter than standard cheesecloth.  Works beautifully for stitched shibori, especially if you are looking for something sheer to layer over other fabrics in your fiber art. 

Whether you use these fabrics dyed or undyed, you'll enjoy the pleasure of using them with needle and thread.

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