Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Indigo Thanksgiving

Remember my bucket o' shibori from a while back?  On Thanksgiving weekend a few weeks ago, I set up an indoor vat so that I could do one final round of dyeing for the season.  I didn't love the experience of dyeing indoors in cramped quarters, but it was fun to get the end results.  Here I'll just show a few of the highlights.

Kumo knots, randomly tied:

Two pieces of shirokage (white shadow):

Tesuji (pleated shibori, tied and bound to a rope) willow variant:

Leaf clusters made with a combination of stitched shibori, orinui shibori, and kumo tying:

Towards the end of the summer, I wanted to do more pole-wrapping, so I dyed a number of arashi and bomaki pieces with different techniques.  Here I'll just show off three of them.  The first was done with bomaki, with the fabric sewn into a tube that fit the pipe pretty tightly before I cinched it up and twisted it a bit.  The result was a finer series of lines compared to other pieces I've done with this technique:


I did another piece of bomaki with the excess fabric along the edge facing the inside of the tube, and then, after I cinched up the fabric, I also wound string around the tube to try and create some breaks in the lines.  The resulting effect was subtle, but I like it:

Finally, I dyed a piece of arashi shibori with a criss-cross pattern:

Can you figure out the technique? I actually dyed the piece once before, so it already had a series of diagonal lines.  I wound it on the pipe again in the other direction, wrapped it with string, cinched it up, and dyed it again to form the criss-cross pattern.

In other news, Blogathon Canada is on the horizon, and I'll be hosting this year!  For more details, click here.  I'll be posting as part of the Blogathon on Nov. 17, with a great giveaway as well--stay tuned!

Finally, I've made some significant progress on the indigo quilt.  I don't have a good photograph, thanks to all the dark, gray weather that we're having, so I'll save that update for another time.  Let's just say that a couple of the Thanksgiving indigo fabrics have already made it up on the design wall.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced and The Needle and Thread Network.  Happy sewing!


  1. All of you dyed pieces are fabulous! I especially love the Leaf Clusters but they are all wonderful :) Beautiful work!

  2. Oh my goodness, I love these so much! I've been thinking it would be fun to try shibori and your post is a real inspiration. The first piece in particular reminds me of sea urchin skeletons - what a cool technique.

  3. These are so beautiful - works of art in their own right. I've never tried this sort of dyeing but now I really want to try.

  4. Wow, so much good stuff here again, Jessica! Love the knots, love the first piece of bomaki, love the criss crossing arashi. The arashi especially seems fraught with danger, because you would have had to be consistent each time, and it turned out really well. Excellent work!

  5. I am impressed! These are just fabulous!

  6. They are beautiful...your indigo shades are stunning!

  7. Your artwork is really amazing. I'd love to try the tesuji willow shibori technique but I really can't figure out how to pleat with the knots and the how to bound to the rope. Do you hace photos on the process?

    1. Thanks for your comment! I have some photos of the plain tesuji pleating, if that helps: For the willow technique, you pleat pretty much the same way, and you just sort of work around the kumo knots. Of course, the pleats end up being much more irregular, but that's kind of the point. You can see how the willow tesuji pleating looks when finished in this entry: As you can see in the bucket o' shibori, it looks like the plain tesuji, only with the kumo knots sticking out.

      Hope that helps! If you need more advice, send me an email, and I'll try to pleat and wrap another piece with some in-process photos.

  8. These are beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing.