Saturday, April 9, 2011
Woven Shibori Duet
Mum and I did something that we have never done before . . . we wove the same thing at the same time! We were looking at the stash and noticed that we had a lot of natural cotton so woven Shibori was the perfect solution. I pulled both 10 yard warps in 2/8 natural cotton each with about 240 ends.Shibori is a traditional Japanese technique for dyeing cloth by stitching secondary threads into fabric and pulling the threads in a manner similar to smocking. After dyeing the secondary threads are pulled out. In woven Shibori the secondary threads are added during the weaving process instead of afterwards by hand. The weft for the scarves is natural cotton and the Shibori threads are Orlec. I learned that if you are doing a pattern with the Shibori picks it is best to use a colour that you can see; it helps to minimize mistakes as the pattern really shows clearly.The 10 yard warp is enough to do four scarves and two 12 inch samples. For each scarf I tried to do different 8 shaft twill treadling for the background in the natural cotton and a different twill pattern for the Shibori pattern picks. Mum was doing plain weave background with Monks’ Belt for the Shibori pattern on 4 shafts so it went really fast, so fast that by the time that I had done two scarves she had done four scarves! The finished scarves stretch from the living room to the dining room. Here is a closer look at two of the scarves, the one on the left is mine and the one of the right is Mum’s. The loops on the side are the Shibori picks and are used when gathering the scarves, like smocking. We had used the cotton before for dyeing and noticed that it had quite a bit of spinning oil that tended to discolour. So before we twizzled or gathered the Shibori picks we washed the scarves. We did this only because of the oiliness of the cotton. The samples on the top have not been washed and you can really see the difference. We wanted the fringe to also wash clean so we loosely braided them. After washing and drying we had to twizzle the fringes. Eight scarves and lots of little twists makes for a long two days of twizzling, thank goodness for a quadruple fringe twister! The scarves are now pulled and ready for dyeing. Before gathering they were five inches wide and now are about one inch wide. The next blog post is going to be about the exciting part, the dyeing and the reveal of the finished scarves.