One of the pieces of silk fabric I snow dyed resulted in a beautiful palette of spring greens. A mandala is centered on the 36″ silk square.
At the same time, I dyed a long silk scarf. The results of this piece was not as successful. A small amount of the dye was deposited on the outside of the folded triangle, while the centre folds had almost no dye.
I decided to put this scarf into another dye bath. I had already washed it out, so I pressed it into the same folds as the first time I dyed it and proceeded to dip it into a turquoise dye bath.
The results are much more interesting and vibrant! Don’t be afraid to dip your fabrics back into another dye bath, if you aren’t pleased with your results.
On the second day of the workshop we were back early with stitched pieces of fabric ready to dye! Preparing the fabric was time consuming but the results were fantastic! The beige fabric is a linen/cotton blend that will become a pillow. It is basted from the center out with upholstery thread and running stitches. The other beige piece has the fabric pulled through metal washers. The white cotton on the lower left has small plastic bead wrapped inside and tied with thread.
There are four basic techniques for shibori dyeing that we worked with:
Arashi Shibori – pole-wrapping
Itajime Shibori – folding and clamping
Kumo Shibori – bound resists
Nui shibori – stitching and gathering
Shibori designs are created when the fabric resists the indigo dye. This is achieved by creating portions of the cloth where the dye can’t penetrate. So, the tighter that fabric is gathered, clamped or stitched, the more it retains its original colour in these areas.
Above, on the left is a PFD cotton that was folded in half lengthwise and then pole wrapped. The cotton gauze on the right was folded into squares and clamped in-between two pieces of wood.
Each time I unwrapped a piece, more design possibilities were suggested. I would like to experiment with different weights and textures of fabric as well as silk and pure linen. I think that the differing weaves of the fabric will also contribute to the uniqueness of the finished designs.
There are more pieces waiting to be washed and ironed. I enjoyed creating the varied styles using the shibori technique and will try them out using Procion fabric dyes during the summer.