Boiled moulded fabric manipulation

I also had fun making manipulating fabric, by boiling things inside cotton and linen. I LOVE the effect this technique has - especially with the screws ... they remind me of some strange sea creature's tentacles.


I've no idea what the technical term is or proper instructions, but all I did was wrap marbles and screws (but you can use anything that doesn't melt) inside cotton and linen using rubber bands, then boil for half an hour. When dry, the shapes created are set into the fabric permanently. This is similar to the effect you can get using gelatin to mould fabric, but much more natural, and can be easily manipulated in other ways.

manipulation boil.jpg


The blue sample was using cotton. Being impatient as I am, I untied the rubber bands whilst it was still wet - which I think resulted in the shpaes much less defined.


I also folded some linen in lines and loosely stitched, then folded and stitched the other way.



  1. The technique is Shibori - it works really well with synthetic fabrics - you can make beautiful evening scarves and wraps.
    The shapes will stay if the fabric is synthetic and you steam it - pan and a bamboo steamer work well.
    I did a workshop in this at Whitehouse Arts in Cambridge a few years ago, we coloured the fabric first using fabric transfer paints.

  2. Sorry i just saw the comment below :)

  3. Hi I'm just wondering does this still work with synthetic fabrics?