Monday, August 20, 2012

Shibori Workshop

What do two LYS workers and one LYS owner do on their day off?  Shibori, of course!

I warped my rigid heddle loom the night before, and our new 8 year-old cat, Miles, helped. (Miles came to live with us about a month ago.) Miles loves yarn.

The next day was completely devoted to shibori. It was a long, but very rewarding, day. It has been a long while since I sat down at the loom for five hours straight. Each cloth is plain weave, but with special pull-threads woven into the fabric in different patterns and intervals.  I used a single skein of undyed Treadsoft sock yarn out of my stash - I wanted a superwash wool because I knew at the end of the day it would soak up the dye and give me intense and brilliant colors.

Cloth 1 - full tones - pull floats on both side of fabric

Cloth 2 - half-tones - pull floats on front of fabric
Cloth 3 - free form
Cloth 4 - crimp
whole cloth - from L-R cloths 1-4

We then trimmed off the ends, and using a sewing machine, zig-zag stitched reinforcement threads between each section so we could cut the cloth into individual samples.  Then, SCISSORS, cutting, pulling and tying, until our individual cloths looked like wadded up tissues.

Three of the cloths then took a vinegar bath in preparation for dyeing. And the dyeing! SO. MUCH. FUN!  The dye was applied while the cloth was still wadded up - like a tie-dye process only so much cooler.

Cloth 1 - full tones

Cloth 2 - half tones

Cloth 3 - free form
Cloth 4 was steamed - because it was woven with a polyester weft, the steam set the crimp, and my cloth will permanently look like this:

Cloth 4 - crimped with pleats

Foreground - my cloths. Background - Kathy's cloths.

I love comparing the newly woven samples with their finished dyed selves.  What an amazing transformation.

I have a bit of warp still left of my loom, so I think I will tie it up again and do a few more samples.  I wish I had warped my loom a bit wider so I could have had bigger samples like Kathy's (above), but live and learn!  I had such a great day!

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