Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas shibori project

This was the first Christmas I can remember being alone. But truth to tell, I haven't really had many strong traditions since 2009 when my family broke up. Puck and I have always tried to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas together, and we would have liked to continue that this year, except their family made plans to visit Ella and Sasha in Vermont to await the birth of the first of their family to be born in America, which is a big deal. But since they didn't include me in that plan, I didn't arrange to take time off to go with them for such a long stretch. And truth be told, I probably wouldn't have liked to be away from home that long anyway, so it all works out for the best.

So instead, I spent my Christmas Eve and Day working on a project I've been planning for a few months now, dyeing silk scarves with indigo using Japanese shibori methods. I started by mixing the indigo dye into a large two-gallon tub:


I had two large white silk scarves and two small ones. For one of the small ones I did an accordion fold and sandwiched it between two pieces of wood about the size of playing cards and secured with rubber bands before dipping in the dye:


For one large and one small, I did an accordion fold and clipped them before doing a simple dip three times into the dye before hanging them to dry:


For the last large scarf, I did my accordion fold and wrapped it once around a can of hairspray and secured it with three rubber bands. Then I carefully dipped just the open folded half of the cylinder into the dye:


I left these to dry overnight, and today I opened them up and rinsed them out, squeezing out the excess dye and hung them to dry. Here's what the square pattern looks like:


Here's what the single side dip pattern looks like:


And here's the cylindrical pattern:


Once they were mostly dry, I washed them with a special textile detergent to set the color and included a couple of color trapping sheets to keep the colors from bleeding. The final result was a nicely faded blue in differing gradations. I carefully ironed them and signed them on the label with the letter "M".:


This is my first time doing anything in the textile arts (except for a latchhook project when I was a kid) and it was a lot of fun. I saved half of the dye to work with again if I want to get some more articles to dye.