Unexpectedly I find myself in the Land of Pots. Obsessed almost. Tearing fabric into strips–1/2″ x 18″-24″ long. Loving the sound of threads rending, coming apart, readying for the alchemical transition which I can’t even begin to predict once colors and patterns are wrapped and coiled. Then, beginning with the spiral center. Turning. Turning. The flow of it. Counterclockwise.
So I want to say this because Grace asked–“Could this technique be used for rug making?” And I think “Yes!” it could. And the shape would be determined by the genesis of the spiral. Round, oblong, rectangular even.
There must be gobs of tutorials online. Goggle coiled fabric bowls I suppose. So no reason to add to that treasure trove–instead I’ll just mention a few things that have made coiling MUCH easier. At first I was working with long strips of varying width. Short is better for me. 18 -24″. And width makes a difference to. If the strip is too wide, it doesn’t coil well. I suppose it would if your cloth was cut on the bias, but I don’t have the inclination or patience to do that. So I simply eyeball what seem to be 1/2″ intervals, give or take, snip across the entire piece, set down the scissors and RIP. When I have an adequate pile, I tie the pieces together.
and when I have enough bundles, I begin coiling. I’ve found that my technique has evolved naturally. I couldn’t begin to explain it. But it does get faster. Much faster. For me, wrapping left to right feels natural. But it probably doesn’t matter.
On my first bowl, I tried to start the spiral on the machine–but it was hard to see and it meant putting my fingers way too close to the needle. So I start the spiral by handstitching a short distance and then stick it under the needle.
I hate to say this, but looking at this last picture, I see that I started on the wrong side. And now I remember. I did have to remove the spiral, flip it over, and begin again. Because–because–it’s important that the coil grows on the left of the needle rather than on the right. One of those things better understood when you actually experience it.
The base can be as large or as small as you want. And if what you want is a circle, then just keep going. But at some point, if you want a bowl, the base gets flipped up perpendicular to the sewing platform….