Hawaiian-Fern Table Runner

'Solar power' lends a hand in this dyeing project.


Project by Vicky Durand

Add a tropical touch with a table runner decorated with the shape of the Hawaiian lau’ae fern. Here’s how to make it:

Materials and Tools:

100 percent cotton, linen and/or silk crepe fabric
lau'ae fern leaves
thin rubber sheets
utility knife
cutting mat
sun reactive dye and container to mix dye
dye tables with mats woven from pandanas leaves (lauhala)
gold signature pen
iron and ironing board
washing machine and dryer
sewing machine
rubber or latex gloves
water softener




1. Prepare the fabric by washing and drying.

2. Cut the fabric into a 16" x 90" table runner or desired size. Cut the corners diagonally.

3. Miter the corners by folding them with right sides together and stitching the corner seam.



4. Turn the fabric right side out. Fold the edges of the runner under a half-inch and press.

5. Fold the edges under again one inch and press. Stitch the hem edges of the table runner on the sewing machine.



6. Mix the dye with water according to manufacturer’s directions.

7. Wearing latex or rubber gloves, submerge the table runner in the dye bath. Wring it out.

8. Spread the table runner on textured mats placed on a table in the sun.



9. Lay lau'ae fern leaves onto thin rubber sheets. Draw around the leaves with a pencil.



10. Cut out the leaf shapes on the rubber with a utility knife.

11. Punch holes in the rubber leaves for added decorative effect.



12. Place the rubber leaves on the table runner in a random pattern.

13. Let the dye react to the sun for about an hour. Remove the rubber leaves.

14. Remove the table runner from the table. Soak it in water-softening solution.

15. Rinse and dry the table runner. Press the runner with the iron. Sew in a label and sign it with a gold fabric pen.

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