Before getting to the bag, here's how the dyeing process worked. I pleated lengthwise with fairly narrow pleats--about a centimeter wide or so. The pleating is easier if you spray the fabric lightly with water, and also if you clamp it periodically with binder clips. (Of course, I didn't figure that out until after I had pleated the first tesuji piece.) The pleats don't need to be exact--quite the opposite, since you want the happy accidents that arise from randomly scrunched up bits of pleating.
After I was done pleating, I used cotton kitchen twine to bind the pleated fabric, on edge, to a length of polypropylene rope:
You can also just bind the fabric without the rope, which is how I did my other tesuji piece, but I prefer the rope resist. It's easier to bind, and I also got some beautiful secondary patterns from the rope itself. The string should be wound around quite tightly, so it helps a lot to wear gloves while binding the fabric to the rope.
The tied fabric went through several rounds of dyeing and oxidating before I untied it. It was so exciting to see the pattern for the first time upon unbinding!
|The unbinding begins! Note the resist lines from the string and the secondary pattern from the rope on the back side.|
|Fanning out: It was so thrilling to see the full pattern for the first time!|
|Fully unwrapped and undergoing the final round of oxidation|
|Close-up: The final result, after washing and ironing|
There's also a good description, with diagrams, in Yoshiko Wada et al., Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing, pp. 104-06. The book also has instructions for a wide range of other pleated resists, some of them incredibly elaborate. For this method here, the pleats don't really have to be as narrow as on this piece--I'm going to do wider pleats on my next tesuji sample.
Today I paired my tesuji fabric with blue denim and made the tote:
Unfortunately, the new bag isn't as good as the old one. The denim I had was too lightweight, so the bag is on the floppy side, and the straps aren't as strong as I'd like. Won't be hauling a lot of groceries with this one! Oh, well--I can use the bag for light errands, and I'll just have to get some heavyweight denim or canvas and make another tote for big jobs.
Meanwhile, our glorious, summery weather has been replaced by the Vancouver norm: cool, gloomy, and rainy. The forecasts for the next seven days aren't so promising either, although if the current predictions hold, maybe I can try another round of indigo dyeing on Wednesday next week. The wait is okay, since I really need to put in a lot of hours on my MQG challenge quilt--I've got less than six weeks to get it done in time for my guild's July meeting!
Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced and on The Needle and Thread Network. Cheers!