Sunday, June 14, 2009

Talkin' Techniques--Do You Chimizi?

No, it's not a dance, or an exercise or a new diet program! It's--thread!

I love decorative/embellishment sewing techniques. Threads. Paints. Sewing machine feet. All that cool stuff. I thought I'd post some ideas that I've played around with.

Chimizi is a thread that shrinks when you shoot it with steam. It is bobbin thread. Looks like a fine-weight embroidery thread.

The purpose of this thread is to cause fabric to pucker, giving a dimensional effect. With regular sewing thread or embroidery thread in the needle, and Chimizi in the bobbin, you sew some type of design on fabric. In the sample below, I stitched a 1/2" grid. When the stitching is complete, hold an iron above the fabric and hit it with steam. The Chimizi starts shrinking,
causing the fabric to pucker. It's really cool to watch--kind of like the old "Shrinky Dinks"!

My samples below are stitched on muslin, using red thread in the needle for clarity. If I were actually making something, I would probably blend the needle thread with the fabric.

Before Shrinking / After Shrinking




I can't get a really good photo of how the puckering actually looks, but it draws up quite a bit. The shrinkage depends on the density of the stitching pattern as well as the fabric.

Here's a sample using a design made on the embroidery machine. It's a small sample--3"x3", so shrinking is minimal. Still, it did shrink some and could look interesting on a larger piece.



Chimizi works best on natural fibers. The looser weave, the more the fabric will pucker. Free-motion scribble quilting would be a good design to use with this thread. Decorative stitches on the sewing machine will also work.

What can be made using this technique? I was thinking about a blouse, with a yoke stitched in Chimizi. Or, a jacket with a yoke. Cuffs. Collars. Pockets. All of those small details might look neat in puckers. Handbags are a good candidate for using different embellishments.

Chimizi is available at your Viking dealers. It's a little pricey. But--what price fun?

So, pucker up people! If you have any ideas about where to use this technique, please share it with me. Just in case my queue gets too short!





21 Talk to me:

Linda T said...

How cool! I've never seen this before.

window dressing said...

That is truly amazing!!! I guess the possibilities are endless. When I was reading your post I immediately thought this would be cool on the upper part of a sleeve with the same thread as the garment to give it a slight pucker or dimension.

Sherril said...

Wow, I've learned something new. Now I've got to find me some of that. I'm thinking it would look cool around the neck edge of a peasant blouse.

Christy Sews said...

I want. I want. I want. I saw a scarf in one of my seiwng magazines that required stitching a to c, d to f, to get that same result. Yep, I want, I want, I want!

Julia said...

I can definitely see this used on yokes for little girls' dresses. I can also see it as a border around the bottom of the hem, etc... Endless uses. Thank you so much for this idea.

BConky said...

Never heard of it. But looks fun.

wendy said...

Whoa... I'd never heard of this stuff before. I need to go over to my Viking dealer for a piping foot sooner or later, so I'm definitely going to be asking about this stuff. It looks SO cool!!

HeathersSphere said...

Wow, Gwen, this looks too nifty. You certainly know how to enable. Thanks for sharing!

Trudy Callan said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I have now posted a description of my sewing area if you would like to read it.

Regards,

Trudy
www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

Cennetta said...

Thanks for the 411 on chimizi.

ClaireOKC said...

Ooooooo - this looks like so much fun!

j.kaori said...

This is so cool! I love the embroidered version --- so pretty. The result kind of reminds me of shibori --- the fabric dying technique that yields a puckered fabric. Well, maybe they aren't that similar --- I guess the connection is that both are Japanese!

Linda said...

I purchased this thread sometime ago and have yet to do anything with it. Glad to see your post about it. I keep wondering what I want to do with it. Your ideas are good ones.

Julia said...

If there was a blogger award for the most encouraging blogger you would win it hands down. Thanks for always boosting my ego!

melissa said...

That's really cool! It's like smocking without all the tedious hand sewing... :P

djStoreRoom said...

Cool.. GReat tutorial!! Thanks for sharing it!!

Ps; Thanks for leaving a comment on http://welovetosew.blogspot.com/ sewing directory... Your blog has been added to it!!

Regards
Diana

a little sewing on the side said...

neato!

Kat said...

That's really neat! Thanks for sharing!!

Sharon said...

This is so cool! I hadn't heard of it before but now I want to find something to use it on!

Audrey said...

I bought some chimizi at a quilt store last year. The only instructions were text on the box, and they were not very inspiring. Your samples and pictures have motivated me to play around with it. Thanks a bunch!

Schaz said...

I played with the chimizi thread to try and mimic the look of an old favorite sweater on fabric. The look was perfect, but the lack of stretch made it not right for this particular project (I discovered elastic thread and am using that instead). I'm still hunting for a project that the chimizi will be right for -- a yoke or sleeve or pocket, maybe. It's such fun to steam it!

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