Nekogao is a Japanese embroidery artist. She is a cat lover who works mainly on embroidery using cat motifs. Nekogao has participated in events and exhibitions, published books, and her works have been featured in many magazines and other media. She also donates a portion of her proceeds to support organizations that protect abandoned cats.
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This time, Nekogao taught us about her unique embroidery technique by dyeing threads with Copic.
—What is the appeal of embroidery for you?
You can do it silently at home. You take a long time making a piece so you’ll get attached to it step by step. I also enjoy choosing the fabric and thread colors.
—What is the most important thing you consider when making a piece?
The most important thing to me is to honor the cats.
I want to make friendly and warm handworks, so I try to not focus too much on it.
—What is your Copic favorite color?
My favorite colors are BG09, G99, E87, E81, RV42
—What is the thing you enjoy the most when coloring with Copic?
The fact I can easily mix and dye my favorite colors with a great variety of colors. I get excited about what new things I can create with Copic markers.
—What is your recommended way to enjoy both Copic and embroidery?
There are various way to enjoy both, for example color first and then embroider and see what kind of design comes out but I also like to embroider with a white thread first and then use colors. Even if you have a small variety of colored thread, you can enjoy dyeing them with Copic markers.I think it’s interesting to dye white thread with pale colors.
—Can you give some advice to people who never tried embroidery?
You can easily do embroidery if you just have a needle and a thread. You don’t have to make a complicated stitch. You can make good artwork with just a simple stitch and some colorful thread dyed with Copic markers.
The thread dyed with Copic tend to creak a little, so I recommend beginners to embroider the thread first and then dye it directly on the artwork. I think it’s fine to dye the thread beforehand if you are making a simple stitch.
Nekogao’s original Copic Ink dyeing techniques were featured on Vogue Japan embroidery magazine “Stitch Idee’ vol. 33”.
Cautions before use
Please be aware that Copic (Copic ink) are illustration markers, not fabric markers. The colors can fade or stick on other clothes.