Sunday, April 22, 2012

Woven Shibori

I can't believe how little a mention I made in my last post about the table runner I wove last semester. It really looked like fabric! And came out as I planned and envisioned it. Winding the warp, threading the heddles, and sleying the reed takes a long time, especially for a beginner. It was really enjoyable to finally watch the fabric emerge and grow as I wove. It was a simple twill pattern, so the treadling was rhythmic.

The first project we did in Weaving 2 at City College this Spring was a woven shibori scarf.  Shibori is a Japanese word that describes a way to manipulate fabric so that is is dyed with a pattern. Tie-dye is one example. For this project fabric is woven, gathered, painted, and then over-dyed.

First I dressed the loom with a white Tencel warp. The weft is white Tencel woven plain weave, plus  nylon in a twill pattern. I varied the number of plain weave rows between the nylon so that the pattern got longer, and then shorter. That pattern determined the final painted design. The weaving was as rhythmic or enjoyable. The fishing line was kind of unwieldy and I had to count the number of nylon repeats as well as an expanding and contracting number of plain weave repeats.

Next the nylon threads were gathered and knotted on each side. The idea is that the fabric showing would be dyed, while the fabric on the inside would stay white. It became about a fourth of the original width. I painted one side a bright green, and the other purple. I wrapped it up in plastic wrap, let it sit overnight and then washed it out.

After it dried I cut and pulled out all the nylon threads. Wow! My colors were bright. I had a plan to end up with earthy colors and picked these colors knowing they would get over-dyed.

We spent the first month of class dyeing cotton in color wheels, and then over-dyeing and doing gradations. But my faith in my plan was a bit shaken at this point.

That's a whole lot of lime green!

Next I immersion dyed the whole piece in a medium yellow. It started getting too dark, so I shortened the process. It all looked like mud, and my color patterns appeared not to keep a trace of their purple and green-ness. But after it dried it was a perfect golden color and the purple and green somewhat as I imagined them.

I made fringe and went for a photo shoot. A very successful project, my classmates had a lot of nice things to say. I just finished a fulled shibori project last week. That will be my next post.

Edited to add a photo of it on me:

1 comment:

Kristen said...

You have been learning a lot of new things with all your classes, and making beautiful handwork. It's good that you're taking steps toward where you want to be.