Saturday, August 22, 2015

From the vat: Arashi and cotton gauze

I've been slow to post, but here are the remaining highlights from my first major round of dyeing this summer.  I did a little bit of pole wrapping, with narrow strips of fabric about 6-1/2" wide:

The piece on the right is more or less the same technique, but there's a way of twisting the fabric as you push it up the pole that produces the broken lines.  I haven't quite figured out how to do it consistently, but it's a nice effect.

Here's a little experiment, in which I pleated the fabric before winding it around the pole and wrapping it with string:

I was hoping for less white and more blue, but the result is interesting.

Finally, I dyed some cotton gauze in scarf lengths:

I love working with gauze, because it takes up the indigo so beautifully.  The first piece is tesuji, while the second is a non-traditional technique in which you wrap the fabric around a piece of string, and then pull the string tight so that the fabric is in a kind of ring-shaped scrunchy before it's dipped into the vat.  It's an easy, easy technique, with oh-so-pleasing results.

There's not much time left for me to dye this summer, but I still have more results to post.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

From the vat: Nui shibori

As I mentioned in a previous post, when I saw that my vat had reached optimal conditions, with the dark amber color that indicates well-reduced indigo at a reasonably high concentration, I reached for the pieces of stitched shibori laboriously prepped earlier.  After six rounds of dipping and oxidizing, I took a seam ripper and opened up the first piece, which was a small test piece about 6-1/2" wide meant to try out a design that came into my head:

I had three more pieces of nui shibori which I put through an additional four rounds of dipping and oxidizing before carefully undoing the stitching.  The results were thrilling.  First of all, here's my pride and joy, a selvage-to-selvage quarter-yard piece using a technique that I learned from Jane Callender last fall:

mokume close-up
another mokume close-up

I also love how this tatewaku pattern turned out:

Sorry not to offer a close-up.  My photo-editing program managed to eat up the image as I was editing it--a really strange glitch that I hope won't become a regular thing.

Mokume stripes on the diagonal also turned out well, although closer rows of stitching might have avoided some of the uneven breaks in the dyeing:

More to come!