Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Arashi Shibori or Bust!

Well today was spent preparing for the two days of shibori dyeing at a friend's house. It took pretty much the whole day of wrapping and folding to do up about 10 yards worth of fabrics. To get the best patterning, I prefer to use the largest diameter pvc pipe I can find and use no more than half yard pieces per wrap. As I mentioned before, I use "fat halves" which are half yard pieces cut lengthwise giving you two 36" x 22" pieces. However, one of the nice things is that if you have nice deep containers for doing the dyeing, you can actually fit two or three pieces of fabric on one pole by squeezing down nice and tight. The smaller the diameter of the pole, the higher up the fabric will squeeze down to on the pole.

Marcia is cutting up her fifteen yards of fabric in preparation for our dyeing day.

The next several shots are of the diagonal wrapping of the fabric on the poles. This first shot shows that you lay your pole on the diagonal of the fabric with the right hand upper corner end parallel to the end of the pole. Very gently you place the corner closest to you on top of the pole and start wrapping very loosely (this is harder than you think). You should place a rubber band to hold that upper right corner firmly onto the pole.

Here shows the pole partially wrapped. Because these poles are only 2 feet long (instead of the preferred 3 or 4 feet length), we will have to twist and push some of the fabric down the pole before we anchor the upper left hand corner with a small piece of thread (use thread that has come off the fabric) and tie around the middle very loosely with this thread.

With your two hands positioned as they are in the picture, hold your left hand steady on the middle of the pole and slowly twist the pole with your right hand while simultaneously pushing the fabric down toward the rubber band with your left. So it is a push down with the left hand, hold and twist with the right hand.
These are four poles that I wrapped using the above technique. I first saw this technique in a class taught by Jan Myers-Newberry who is one of the nicest and classiest teachers I have had.
This is a second technique that I use on some of the narrower pvc poles although it works just as well on the wider ones. First you measure the circumference of the pole (or you can be really fancy and trust that pi x D really works). Then you add about an inch to that measurement. A five inch in diameter pole would have a measurement of about 17 or 18 inches wide. Mark that on the lengthwise piece of your fabric (fold in half to make a 36 x 11 inch rectangle). Measure over 9 1/2 inches from the center and sew with your sewing machine a line of stitching using the longest stitch your machine has. Then put the pole inside the sleeve, put a rubber band to hold it at one end and then push down as far as you can. I then fluff out the fabric that is left over so that it will get some nice even dyeing. A variation on this founded my another friend Mary was to actually sew this sleeve and then to fold the fabric back over the sleeve and sew a second sleeve over the first (making sure you don't catch the first sleeve in your stitched line). You will get a gradation of striped colors with this variation. I have even done it three times with an extra narrow pvc pipe.

Of course you can always just wrap a pole and then wrap string around it and then push it down and compress it as well.

The next bunch we did were clamped using plexiglas (you can't see it in the picture but it is there). I first accordion fold the fabric in one direction and then accordion folded in again in the other direction, slapped a piece of plexiglas on either side and then held it together with these small clamps.

Here Marcia used canning jar lids so she will get nice circles in the middle. I really like these small clamps as they don't take up too much room in the dye bath.

Of course Suki had to put in her two cents about the poles. We had to make sure she didn't come home with me accidentally as I had so much in the trunk.

There are a number of other techniques to do shibori including stitching and direct dyeing which I will discuss in another blog entry.

1 comment:

giboulee said...

Thank you for sharing all the secrets of this technique!
Am in process of dyeing right now =)