Sunday, 13 October 2013

A Jolly Good Weave

Having been missing in action for some time, I have wanted to get back to blogging but powering up the laptop and downloading photos from the camera all seemed a bit of a fag. However, I having come across Blogsy I thought I'd give it a go as it seemed to fit in with my technology.

This weekend has seen me in a class, weaving shibori and I am happy but exhausted.

First, a word about shibori. It is the Japanese method of resist dyeing and usually uses stitching, tieing, folding and twisting to form a pattern on a plain white cloth which is then dipped in an indigo bath to develop a blue and white pattern.

When traditional shibori has been dried and opened up it generally retains its crinkled appearance and is very stretchy until the cloth is finished (when the stretch is removed).

The above two photographs show the same piece of cloth. The top one is shibori with the stitching removed but it has no received a finishing treatment. The bottom photo shows the same fabric with the pattern stretched out, this gives an indication of how the pattern would look in the finished piece. The sample is silk.

The use of resist dyeing is is seen around the world with a variety of methods being used. A popular method when I was a child in the 70's was known as tie dye. Of course the use of resists (as in batik) is also common.

Batik made using hand stamping with wax, dyeing and repeating the process for each colour used.

The Japanese use hand stamping with a resist made of rice flower or seaweed (depending on the location) and the. Dye with indigo.

Having had great fun producing beautiful fabric using vat dies and methods of folding and wrapping, I really wanted to do this workshop on woven shibori; a modern weaving technique pioneered by Catherine Ellis. The course was held at the Wiltshire Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers with Pat Foster leading.

The homework for the course was to warp the loom according to a chosen weaving pattern, I selected monk's belt which turned out to be incredibly easy to weave. I managed to achieve a reasonable warp so that signified an excellent start (and pleased my weaving teacher who was also attending the course).

The morning of the first day included a talk and then it was time to get busy with the weaving.

By lunchtime I had cloth which I was proud of and by the end of the first day I was I was onto the second sample.

Tired and happy it was home for dinner and an early night.

Day two saw more weaving and then it was time to cut the samples off the loom and get them ready for the dye bath by tieing them up into little tight parcels.

By the time I was finished they looked like two little rag dolls, ready to be sacrificed to the dye pot. I especially like the green one, very cute.

As I had used cotton these bundles were wetted, placed into a Procion MX dye bath of purple, massaged and left to react. They were then rinsed off. One intrepid student opened their parcel at the studio. Isn't it glorious?

It was time to go home so everyone took their tied up bundle home to let them dry before opening. Back at home, I couldn't resist and opened mine up to dry.
Aren't they gorgeous?
I loved the workshop and shall be making more pieces of woven shibori.


1 comment:

Allabitrandom said...

I can feel a request for a newsletter article in the air!!!! Well done!