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10/17/2013 / accfiber

Today is a good day to dye (your woven shibori).

Hello again!  Beth here with an update on the woven shibori I’ve been working on.  You remember that it’s a woven fabric with supplemental weft threads which are pulled in order to gather the fabric and resist the dye in areas.  You can see in the image below what it looks like while it’s being woven.  The long strands of yarn that are floating across the surface of the fabric are those supplemental weft threads.  Can you picture what the final product will look like after dyeing?

shibori on loom

After the fabric is completely woven and removed from the loom, the supplementary threads are pulled to gather the cloth, which turns it into what I like to think of as a fabric snake.  The fabric was originally about 24 inches wide, but gathered like this, it was less than five.

shibori with strings pulled

After I had my “snake” created, I dyed part of it, and then cut the strings gathering that section.  Here it is after that first session in the dye pot.

shibori - dyed

I cut the sections open after I dyed them because I wanted the next color of dye to saturate the area that had been resisted.  The photo below shows what it looked like after I dyed two sections.  You can see that the darker area in the second (or top) section is the same color as the lighter area in the first (bottom) section.

shibori overdyed

I kept dyeing, cutting the threads used for gathering, and dyeing again until I had four sections done in a gradation of reds and red-blacks.  Since I used different yarns for the warp and the weft (the warp is rayon and the weft is silk noil), the fibers accepted the dyes differently.  If you look closely, you’ll see that the weft appears more red and the warp appears more tan or black.  I think it gives the cloth a little more visual depth or personality than if both yarns were the exact same color.

shibori dye differential

Another thing I like about the woven shibori process is the actual depth the cloth is left with.  You may be able to see in the image below how the fabric undulates, showing where the highs and lows were when gathered.  Some people may prefer to press the cloth in order to leave it completely flat, but I really enjoy seeing proof of the process.

shibori texture

So, after all that, what does the final piece look like?  Well, here it is.

completed woven shibori

What do you think?

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