by Catherine Ellis
Catharine Ellis wrote the book, “Woven Shibori”. While attending HGA Convergence 2016, I had the privilege of taking a class with her, Natural Dyeing and Hand Woven Shibori. This was not a hands on class, but a lecture with a wealth of information she generously shared with us.
Examples of Cloth as woven and dyed with natural dyes by Catharine Ellis
Pulled Shibori example by Catharine Ellis
If you’ve followed my blog there have been several posts on Handwoven Shibori pieces I’ve created. All my work has used synthetic dyes, At one time Catharine also used synthetic dyes, but today she only works with Natural dyes. The variety of colors She achieves with her techniques is amazing.
Works created by Catharine Ellis with natural dyes
My future to do list now includes more Woven Shibori dyed with natural dyes.
Almost 2 years ago I wove and dyed 3 some yards of Handwoven Shibori fabric. The dyed fabric reminded me of the tranquil waters in the Bahamas. I wanted to make something to wear, but what? In my mind I envisioned a dress, but there wasn’t enough fabric. The Shibori fabric would need to be the focal point in the dress. So I wove another 3 yards of solid color fabric in a simple 8 harness twill, using a cotton/silk blend. The Shibori fabric is made from 8/2 Tencel. These two fabrics were used to sew the dress using Simplicity 1586 pattern. I modeled the dress in the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas 2015 conference fashion show this past weekend. The back of the dress also has the center panel of handwoven Shibori fabric with side panels in the twill fabric. It only took 2 years but I accomplished my goal. The challenge now is to find a use for the remaining fabric. What do you envision creating?
Just finished dyeing one of the 2 Shibori- handwoven scarves woven earlier this year. Actually the dyeing took place last Tuesday as the temps were dropping, but no warmer days to do this in the near future. So the dyes were prepared In the garage. The scarves with the pattern warps pulled have Procion MX dyes painted onto each side. The scarf was then rolled up in plastic wrap. The temps outdoors had dropped below 70 degrees, so no curing to be done outside in the sun. The scarves were microwaved to steam the dye and left to sit inside until the following day to rinse out. Procion MX dyes need temps above 70 degrees to set.
The completed Boysenberry Handwoven Shibori scarf. It reminds me of the petunias in my garden this summer.
The second scarf was dyed with a Royal Blue and Green. The patterning has a wood grain effect.
I like to experiment and the two scarves in this blog use different techniques. The scarves were each hand woven using a black rayon yarn in both the warp and weft. A pattern yarn was woven in a twill pattern one pick every 6 ends. These pattern threads were later pulled and knotted along each selvage. At this stage the scarf is put into a solution of bleach and water, to remove or disperse the black dye. The scarves are allowed to dry. Now I began to experiment by applying Shiva paint stick to one side. The copper highlighted areas in the finished scarf above is Shiva paint.
Handwoven Shibori scarf after weaving. See the pattern threads.
This scarf had Procion MX dye painted on one side of the scarf after dispersing the black dye from the rayon yarn this is done before the pattern threads are removed. Experimenting is fun way to get new looking pieces.
In need of wash and press
Unfinished projects. I hate to say how many I have. The trouble is that a woven project is not done until it’s washed and ironed,
the fringe is twisted,
Fringe to twist
Mistakes need repairing.
The Dyeing process is completed.
Projects are sewn.
Labels sewn on and final ironing.
Labels to sew on
Some projects are as time-consuming off the loom as on.
Finishing is where I get bogged down. How about you?
This fella was outside my door, drying his wings.
Busy weaving handwoven Shibori scarves. This one, I took off the loom yesterday. The pattern threads I am pulling and knotting for dyeing. The next scarf is half woven using a different pattern.
Wish my flowers still looked so nice. The heat has taken its toll.
2 Scarves one hand painted warp
It’s always amazing to see how different colors of yarn used in the weft with the same warp will change the end results. These scarves were both woven on the same painted warp. The weave structure used was a manifold twill. The painted warp yarn is an 8/2 Tencel dyed with Procion MX dyes. The weft yarns for each scarf are a 10/2 bamboo yarn. The weft yarns where from 2 different manufactures, XIE Bamboo for the turquoise scarf and Webs bamboo (This yarn has been discontinued) for the red-purple scarf. The Webs bamboo is less tightly spun, so has less shine to it. It was a good decision to unweave a large part of the Red-purple scarf. The end result is better. Now what to weave for the next project.
The Magnolia’s blooms are so fragrant.
Hand painted natural dyes with added fabric paintstik highlights
This silk scarf was one of two done in a natural dye extract class at HGA Convergence 2014, taught by Linda Hartshorn. In a earlier post I showed this scarf before I had washed the residual dye out. Waiting the 2 weeks to wash was painful. Very little of the dye washed out, so it was worth the wait. After washing I was unhappy with the indigo squiggles.
Before adding paintstik outlines
The added paintstik highlights added some bling and refined the indigo edges.
Stamped natural dye extract scarf
The above scarf was also done in this workshop. It is much simpler in appearance. Thicken natural dyes were painted on a stamp then applied to the scarf. The leaves were indigo and the bees were logwood. For the bees I would choose a different natural dye to use if I was doing this again. The class was a great way to explore a new technique. An added benefit is walking away with 2 finished scarves to wear myself or give as a gift.
Silk painted scarves with natural dye extracts.
One of the classes I took at Convergence last week was ” Silk painting and stamping with natural dye extracts”. The class was taught by Linda Hartshorn. Here are some of the dye results. Mine is the center scarf in the front row of the above photo. We had lots of fun in this class. The scarves are hanging to dry so we can take them home. After 2 weeks we can press them with a steam iron, than rinse them out. The colors will be lighter than you see, we were told. We used fustic, indigo, madder, logwood purple, cochineal, and maybe one or two more I don’t remember. Of course I bought some extracts at the vendor hall. I’d like to try dyeing on my own. Below are photos of more scarves done in the class by others. Such a variety of creative ideas.
Hand Painted warp for scarf
A new project is on the loom and ready to begin weaving if a few minutes can be squeezed in. The scarf warp was painted with Procion MX dyes, using 3 colors. I’m planning on using a solid red purple Tencel for the Weft. The warp is also an 8/2 Tencel. I’ll be using an 8 harness manifold twill pattern that is a change of the draft used for the green painted shawl I just finished.
I will be off to HGA Convergence conference in Providence, RI tomorrow. With classes, exhibits, the fashion show and vendor hall, I’ll be sure to come back full of inspiration and some photos to share.