Monday, September 28, 2015

Shibori Technique #2

Technique Two: Fold, Clamp, and Dye
The second workshop I took at the Kyoto Shibori Museum involved techniques of folding, clamping, and dyeing. Again, this is a resist-type of dyeing. The folding of the fabric allows for a repeat pattern to emerge in the final piece. Clamping wooden shapes onto the folded cloth prevents the dye from penetrating the areas underneath the wood. One needs to use wood  pieces(as opposed to plastic, etc.
Samples of Fold, Clamp, and Dye
), as the wood will expand a little when wet, which makes it press even tighter to the cloth.

We began the workshop by looking at samples of finished scarves. Ryo-san pointed out that the shape on the label of each sample indicated the wooden shape used, and it was obvious to see the two colors of dye that would become the base.

Two methods of folding were introduced: a back and forth linear fan-fold, and a triangular type of fan-fold. It is important to have as much surface area of the fabric exposed for dyeing, and this is why a fan-fold (or accordion fold) is used.
Beginning to fold the scarf
Once the scarf is folded, you then choose the shapes you want to employ and clamp them down tightly onto the cloth. You need two of each shape, and you sandwich the cloth between the pieces of wood.

Clamps and Wood Shapes
Sandwiching the folded silk between two wood shapes
Another view of clamping
Once all is clamped in place, it is off to the dye bath for the first color. We soaked the fabric in cold water first and then moved it to the hot dye bath. Once we had the depth of color we wanted, then we rinsed the fabric (while still clamped), and then back at the work station, carefully removed the clamps. Without unfolding the cloth, we then sandwiched and clamped down a second set of wooden shapes. I could see that the more one does this, the easier it is to understand what shapes will produce what repeat.

Prepping for the second set of dyeing

Back to the dye room, for the second color. In my case, I used blue in the first dyeing session. I then applied orange in the second dyeing, with the result of creating purple when over-dyeing occurred. Here is a list of how colors would occur on the scarf.
  • Blue – from the first dyeing in non-clamped areas.
  • Orange – from the second dyeing in areas that were clamped the first time, but not the second.
  • Purple – in areas where overdyeing of blue over orange occurred.
  • White – in areas which were clamped by shapes of wood, both times, and thus received no dye.

After the second dye bath, but before the grand unfolding
My finished piece
Again, there was this marvelous moment, when you unveiled the finished result.  Ryo-san held one end of the folded (but now unclamped) cloth, and I held the other end. We counted to three and unfolded the piece.  Magic!!

I can see that the more one works with this, the more you can foresee what you will get with different Shibori techniques. So, I intend to practice this more when I get back home, and document my steps and therefore my understanding. I’m hooked!!


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