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?
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.
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.
Dyeing Handwoven Shibori
I found this unpublished blog entry so I will publish it even though the finished fabric was shown in the post “Finishing Projects”. With temps reaching 86 degrees today, it was time to dye before the heat of summer is upon us. The handwoven Shibori snake was finished months ago. Since I don’t have a place to dye inside my home I need to wait for the weather to cooperate. The dyeing takes place in my backyard on the deck. I place an old plastic shower curtain on the table to protect it. The water for prepping the fabric to be dyed, was heated inside the house. Soda ash is added to the hot water as is a mild soap, then the fabric to be dyed. This is soaked for 30 minutes. The Procion MX dye is mixed outside with distilled water. I use two colors when dyeing my handwoven Shibori. One color on the top side and one on the back. The dye is applied with a stencil brush. Plastic wrap is under the piece being dyed. When I’ve finished dyeing the snake the plastic wrap is folded around it and the snake is rolled up to batch. The piece sits for 48 hours before rinsing out the dye. Once the Shibori snake has dried the pattern threads will be pulled out. You can see the Shibori dyed fabric on the post “Finishing Projects”.
Handwoven Shibori yardage
The Handwoven Shibori yardage has been pressed and is ready to be made into something wearable it has a nice drape being 8/2 Tencel. The dye penetration is not as even as I would have liked, but it does create an interesting horizontal pattern.
The honeycomb runner made with linen and jute to outline the cells looks lovely on the table. The jute transitions from purple, blue, light green, yellow, orange, hot pink, then reverse back to purple. The back has long floats. For handbags or clothing this fabric will require lining. I have some novelty silk from Habu, I would like to use in the future with this weave structure.
Honey comb runner back
This project has been a long time in process (see earlier post: Handwoven Shibori on the Loom). I just finished creating the “snake.” It is 3 1/2 yards of plain weave fabric with pattern threads in a twill weave. The pattern threads which are pink have been pulled tightly. These threads were woven in after every 8 shots of plain weave weft. It took way too long to pull up these threads. The next step is to dye the piece. The dye will not be able to penetrate into the folds of fabric created when pulling the pattern threads. I’m hoping temperatures will cool off from the 90’s with high humidity that we’ve been having so I can dye this piece outdoors. The question is what colors should be used? One color dye will be applied to the front and a second to the back. For now this remains a piece in progress.
CHT Fashion Show. My “Spring Views” scarf is being modeled.
I”m a little late with posting about the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas 2013 Conference which took place May 30- June 2. The conference is something I always look forward to. The opportunity to learn new weaving techniques, the fellowship of being around other weavers, and the chance to shop for new yarns in the vendor hall all make attending a conference special. Alas, this year my health got in the way so I was unable to attend. Two of my scarves were in the Members Exhibit, though. Both scarves are handwoven shibori. “Spring Views” is dyed with two colors of Procion dyes. “Rustic” was woven with all black threads and then bleached to create the pattern. The next conference will be in 2015 in Austin, Texas.
“Spring Views” Handwoven Shibori scarf reminds me of the fields of Bluebonnets in the springtime
“Rustic” Handwoven Shibori Scarf
This is Handwoven Shibori being woven on a floor loom. The weaving is fairly easy, plain weave with a pattern thread every 6 ends. The pattern threads form a fancy twill pattern. I don’t use nylon fish line for my pattern threads which will later be pulled gathering the fabric. I use a 3/2 mercerized cotton yarn that is quite strong. Nylon fish line will not break when pulled. The 3/2 could still break while pulling if pulled too hard. If a thread breaks while pulling it will cause a horizontal band to be dyed in the fabric. This happens since the fabric will not be gathered equally in this area. The tighter the pattern thread is pulled the crisper the dyed design will be. The 3/2 yarn
Handwoven Shibori on the Loom
is much easier to handle and knot after gathering the fabric for dyeing. When I weave this fabric I try to think about what colors I will choose to dye with. The fabric will be used for a garment when completed.
Close-up of a Handwoven Shibori Scarf, using bleach technique.
Bleached Shibori Sample with pattern threads removed.
Pattern threads pulled creating resist for bleaching process.
I love to experiment, probably has something to do with working in chemical labs early in my career. My newest adventure uses black rayon in both the warp and weft of a Handwoven Shibori piece. Instead of applying dyes to the piece after pulling the pattern threads, I bleached the fabric. It’s important to dilute the bleach so as not to damage the fibers. Also after rinsing the bleached fabric needs to be soaked in a dechlorinator such as hydrogen peroxide found in your local drugstore. A finished scarf called “Rustic”
can be seen in the
“Handwoven Shibori Gallery”
UPS Yarn Delivery
Some weavers collect equipment, others collect yarn. This yarn is known as the proverbial “Stash”. I must admit to an addiction to yarn. Having had a recent birthday, I rewarded myself by shopping at the Anniversary Sale of one of my favorite yarn sources. Placing my order was not easy. Dig out yarns in current stash, from under table, in closet, and on shelves. Look for what color additions are needed for future weaving or additional yardage of current colors. I make my order list, but sleep on it. The next day I place the order after adding and subtracting yarns. Then the wait….. Yesterday the box arrived damaged. The yarn came through unscathed.
Yarn to drool over
So I will weave a scarf of Alpaca Silk. Cottolin and 8/2 cotton for future towels. Natural tencel I will weave and dye for Shibori scarves. But, first the cones need to be introduced to the rest of my stash. So up the stairs to the studio it goes. Now I just need to get busy and weave. Then I can buy more yarn.