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Posted: I'm currently making my own fabric poi and I was hoping someone could help me out. I'm looking for a pattern and a type of fabric people could suggest for me to use. My first prototype is made of two long strips of fabric that cross one another and sewed up all four sides. I find the strips I made are a bit too big so I was wondering if people could suggest the width of the strips i could use. I'm also using a T-shirt material which is a bit stretchy. Also I've looked on a couple of sites, and noticed someone using balloons filled with water instead of with rice or anything like that. Has anyone used those? And could you tell me how well they work? And I could also use suggestions on the ends. Should I just do a knot, or make loops? I'm planning on making a bunch for a group of my newbie friends and was hoping to find ideas for the easiest ones for them to use. Any help would be wonderful, thanks.
light cotton as used for t-shirts isn't really suitable. You best use a non-or-little-strechy fabric, linen can do, but different types of nylon and stuff might do the trick as well. If you want to use bright colours you might want to use fabric that is normally used for kites and such.
I've tried to make fabric poi but without succes, but that's mainly because I have no patient and always fight with the sewing machine.
for a filling I would never use water in a balloon, water is heavy, is likely to give a weird bounce, and the balloons are will probably start leaking or explode. I can be fun though
A filling I prefer is sand in a balloon for the weight, about 40 to 50 grams. and that embedded in left-over cloth material. They won't hit you hard and you can adjust the weight. You can also use it without the sand-in-balloon weight, the poi become light, but still very pleasant to spin with.
To fill a balloon, best blow it up first, then let the air flow out of it and attach the end to a funnel. all you have to do is pour in some sand, rice or grains. you might have to push it through the funnel into the balloon with a stick or something.
loops or knots are entirely the spinners choice, you could make both of them, and let them try to see what they like. I prefer loops, though I always hold the chain/string between my fingers. most people start with loops, mainly because most poi have loops, and because knobs and knots are very useful for trows and stuff, but most beginners don't do that yet.
Then if you choose knots or knobs, make them big, so they fit nicely in your hand. to small knots can cause cramps. if you want to make loops you can make easy nylon loops out of lanyards. they often have the right width and strenght required.
I can't help you with patterns, but I'd say, just study the poi that are commercially for sale, and try to find out how they're constructed, and copy that.
I don't really want to use socks because I find they are tacky, and that would completely negate the wanting to make them myself ^^
And thanks Ammu. That is very helpful. I may just stick with my current pattern to see if it can work. I'll definatly have to try the linen. I'll generally be doing darker colours anyways and I think the kite material feels weird. So I'll try linen.
Actually, there's no reason why you shouldn't use stretchy fabrics for making poi- my set's swimsuit fabric, and they're really nice to spin with. Plus you can get a pretty big variety of colours. I personally find stretch fabrics easier to do tangles with.
Adding small counterweights opens up a few more options of things to do with your poi too, though you can just use big knots I suppose. And you can always add swivels if you want to get elaborate
I don't like strechness in poi but a lot of people do so i guess its one of those you either love or you hate it type things like marmite.
back to the orginal topic i made a set of poi the other day which was a triangle and a rectange the first part being a triangle which moved into a rectange i sewed a draw string into the bottom then sewed the two side together and then turned it inside out they came out quite nice. i then sewed one of those swivels in and the final sewed a counterwieght in the other end of the swivel
this thread makes me happy. I love collective consciousness.
My design is to take one triangle of fabric to make the cone, another tube with a string in it to attach to the swivel, the same tube on the handle, a pouch to put my sand balloon, and finally a wrist loop. When I get my sketch with all the dimensions and lables drawn up digitally I'll post a link to it here.
I have friends with surgers and will hopefully convince one of them to help me use one. I am still trying to decide on what fabric to use. I like the knitted cotton of t-shirts. I want to dye them myself and I was told that natural fibers hold dye where as most synthetics do not. The fabric needs to be slightly stretchy, have a bit of friction so tangles will be easier, and most importantly be durable. T-shirts seem to ware out over time.
I've seen poi made out of pajama material work pretty well.
3 posts Location: Milwaukee, WI, USA
I've copied a friend's zuni poi and they work quite well. The materials I used were ripstop nylon, a pair of men's nylon dress-shoe laces, 3/4" wide nylon strapping, polypropylene pellets, a pair of metal d-rings, metal fishing swivels and nylon thread. Yeah, lots of nylon, it's durable as heck, and I like how with the shoelaces and handles I can melt the ends to keep them from fraying. I used polypropylene pellets as opposed to rice or birdseed just in case my poi were to ever get wet, I was worried organic material would get moldy.
The beanbags are rectangular and about 3.5" wide and 4.5 inches long, and I rounded the points of the edge of the rectangle that is opposite the tail. The tail is 3.5" wide and tapers down to 1.5 inches wide and is approximately 4 feet long. The beanbag end of the poi has an inner shell which holds the beads and an outer shell which is the outside poi head that holds the beanbag. I double bagged my pellets because I knew small holes would eventually form from wear and I didn't want to lose my pellets. The outer poi head has a 1.5" loop of nylon shoelace sewn into the seam for the handle swivels to hook onto. The poi tail is hemmed by folding the fabric over 1/4 of an inch twice. This is done on the three exposed edges of the tail. The other end of the tail is sewn to the outer shell.
The handles are very easy, you cut the shoelaces to the desired length and melt the ends (I cut them longer than I need them since I can always tie them up shorter). Tie one end to the fishing swivel, which will get hooked onto the nylon loop on the poi head. To make the finger loops, cut a 6" piece of nylon strapping. Melt the ends. Thread the D-ring to the center of the piece of nylon strapping, fold the ends of the strapping in so that they almost touch in the center. Fold in half again. Pin and sew. You will end up with a double-looped handle. Tie other end of nylon shoelace to d-ring.
If you want to dye your poi, you can dye nylon, but you'd have to order a special dye from somewhere like dharmatrading.com .
I think when I made these poi I ended up spending about 5-7$ per poi set.
Also, should I made a video on this process? I think when I write I tend to make my projects sound more complicated than they actually are.