Saturday, May 17, 2014

The trials and tribulations of nui shibori

I've posted various photos along the way, but I haven't provided any explanatory notes about my nui shibori (stitched shibori) attempts.  A few weeks back, I posted these photos of two fat quarters stitched and pulled prior to dyeing:

Here's the first fabric (photos 1&2 above) after dyeing:

I was hoping for a very dark indigo background, but as mentioned earlier, I think I had too much thiox in my first dye bath.  The mottling is also pretty bad, thanks to my failure to clear all of the indigo flower.

In the second piece (photos 3&4 above), I was trying the shirokage (white shadow) technique, in which binding to a rope or other resist produces a mostly undyed background.  Cape Cod Shibori on Etsy does a particularly nice job with this approach, and I've been admiring her "white box" fat quarters.

As you can see below, on the righthand side of the photo, I carefully wrapped the pulled fabric around a paint roller brush to protect the parts of the fabric that I wanted largely undyed.  I also took a thin piece of fabric and wrapped it around the edges of the bound fabric, to protect the outer borders:

Shirokage is supposed to be a fairly advanced technique, so maybe it wasn't the best choice for a beginner like me.  But hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained!  Alas, I didn't get the crisp, straight lines I wanted.  Instead, for some reason, mine came out on the ragged side:

I think I was supposed to fold along the grid lines and stitch in rows parallel to them, rather than stitching along the grid lines themselves.  I'm going to try this one again, with the alternative stitching technique.  More experiments coming soon!

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