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Fabric pottery.

The fabric containers at left aren't hard, heat-resistant, or waterproof, but they're shaped in much the same way as coiled clay pots. These "soft pots" are unbreakable and as colorful as you want; make them to hold fruit, yarn, scarves, jewelry, or just for decoration. Each costs $2 to $10 and takes 3 to 5 hours to make.

You'll need fabric scraps, cotton or compressed-paper cording, a large needle, and heavy thread. Almost any fabric will work; we tried wool, cotton, and cotton blends, both woven and knit. For best results, cut 2-inch-wide strips on the bias. Cording is sold at yardage stores or upholstery shops. Choose according to the size and softness of the pot you want to make. A medium-size pot like the red one on the ledge in the picture at left took about 15 yards of firm, narrow paper cording; the large off-white vase took about 16 yards of soft, wide cotton cording.

To begin, select a bowl, vase, or other shape to serve as a mold. Wrap it with cording to see about how much you'll need (add a few extra feet for insurance). Wrap a strip of cloth over and around the end of the cording, folding the raw edge under 3/8 inch as you wrap (on fabrics usch as wool, the raw edge can add interest). As you finish one strip, overlap the next about 3/4 inch to keep fabric tight. If you want a precise design, wrap short distances of cording at a time, changing fabric as desired. At the end of the cord, tack fabric in place with thread (to prevent unraveling, you may want to tack down each fabric strip as you proceed). Wrap the covered cording around your mold. As you work, stitch rows of cording together every 1/2 inch. (Hide thread between coils.) To vary the shape of your pot from the mold, continue to wrap and stitch the cording freehand. To finish, securely stitch end to previous coil.

For added stability, spray the finished pot with starch, rubbing it into the fabric with your fingers.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jan 1, 1984
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