Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Preparing for Shibori Dyeing Day!

Well, finally back from North Carolina and getting ready for a two day dyeing session at a friend's house. We will have about 10 intrepid dyers gathering by her barn with poles and clamps in hand. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and we won't run out of water before the two days are through -- who needs showers anyway...

The preparation consists of getting all the dyes together along with some measuring cups and spoons. Because we are doing regular immersion dyeing this day, we will also need A LOT of salt. While in North Carolina, I found quite a bit on grocery shelves. It is difficult to find the uniodized salt in any appreciable quantity around here except at the Mennonite run bulk food stores. Hopefully with the 50 lbs I have gathered we will have enough. You don't need the salt when doing our regular low water immersion dyeing although I do use a little! I also have scoured the local stores for sodium carbonate which we will need to get the pH right. A lot of the local stores carry sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) instead of sodium carbonate (washing soda) as their pH+ for pools so watch your labels carefully!

I have gathered pvc pipe in 2 to 4 foot lengths with many different diameters (Lowe's even has the hard to find 6" pipe now) around which I will wrap and scrunch fabric. I even found some nice deep 5 gallon pails at Lowes today.

To get the best results, it is best not to try to scrunch more than a fat half yard of fabric at a time (a fat half is a full yard cut in half lengthwise). You really want to have a fairly even look to the whole piece (IMHO).

I have also gathered a lot of clamps (the kind you squeeze with your hands) in different sizes which I will use to clamp the fabric between two pieces of plexiglas that I have cut down to reasonable (3" x 4") size. I found a lot of very small clamps at Harbor Freight which will do the trick nicely and not take up so much room in the "pots".

Tomorrow will be spent taking the fabric, labelling it appropriately and scrunching, wrapping and squeezing it! I may even do some hand stitching tonight as that leads to some very intriguing patterns that you can't obtain any other way.

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