Shadowfolds in Fabric

Last week I received this book in the mail from my Amazon Wishlist (thank you Adam!). It is gorgeous and has some amazing fabric manipulation techniques called “shadowfolds,” a type of origami for fabric. These are repeating geometric patterns (tessellations) created by knotting points together in the fabric.

Click here to buy “Shadowfolds: Surprisingly Easy-to-Make Geometric Designs in Fabric” by Jeffrey Rutzky from Amazon.

The book has a few patterns and projects that you can scan onto your computer and print out. Alternatively, the book provides an online link to PDF versions to download and print out. This is the option that I went with since it is more accurate and easier because there is no need to increase the size before printing.

This is what the Shadowfold .PDF pattern looks like printed out.

Once the pattern is printed out in full-size and the pages are taped together, the black dots need to be punched out. The lines indicate which dots need to be sewn together and knotted. Place the pattern on the wrong side of your fabric and mark the dots and then connect the associated dots with lines. The instructions and the patterns are very easy to follow in the book. For a few of the projects would require a bit more sewing knowledge then the book’s project construction gives, but these are still pretty easy. I tried out an easy 8-pointed star in a linen-type fabric.

Completed 8-point star shadowfold.

It’s a bit dark, next time I will use a lighter and thinner material to get the full semi-translucent shadowfold effect. I intended this to be for my sewing portfolio, but I was inspired to add some embellishment to the finished project and now I think it will probably end up being incorporated into another future project. I machine-sewed in lace under the radiating pleats and hand-sewed beads to the points of the star.

Here is the same 8-point shadowfold embellished.

Ultimately, this was an easy yet extremely satisfying experiment. This book is my new favorite!


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