Adventures in Shibori

Deborah Younglao shibori pattern
Last Sunday 7 members of the Piedmont Silk Painters met at Marcia Ferris's studio for a silk wrapping, folding and clamping party - in other words, shibori of the arashi (pole wrapped) and itajime (shaped resist) variety.

Marcia demonstrates pole wrapping. The silk is wrapped around a PVC pole and then string wound tightly around the silk, along the length of the pole. The wrapped silk is scrunched down over the pole to form small folds. The string acts as a resist, so when the silk is dyed, you get a pleated pattern.
Wrapping was a lot more physical than I expected - it was quite a workout!

A different variation on wrapping...
Folding and wrapping well underway - this is me folding my itajime piece first.

The itajime technique involves folding the silk and clamping it in places to create a resist.
I folded my silk in half lengthwise and then into triangles. Here the whole scarf is folded except for the final fold.
Wooden shapes (made by Marcia's super-handy hubby Martin) are clamped on either side of the folded silk. The tight clamp prevents the dyes from flowing under the shape.
After dying, with clamps removed. The clamped shapes resisted really well. The next photo shows the whole scarf, opened up.
Some of the fold/clamp results. Nice!
Now for the pole wrapping...
Clockwise from left - silk is wrapped and bound and ready for dyeing! I painted on olive green, brown and golden yellow. The pole is placed in a large canning pot to be steamed. Everything is sealed tight with foil. We had 3 steamers going at the same time... looks like some kind of alien laboratory!
Some of the results (mine's on the lower left). Click the pic for a closer view

The group (minus 0ne) with our day's creations
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Deborah Younglao shibori scarf
When I got home I decided to see what would happen if I refolded my first scarf and added some more yellow and brown to the middle part of it to get a more defined pattern and decrease the amount of white. It worked! Plus I got a nice surprise - during the second steaming, emerald green migrated out of the olive that was already there, to nicely fill in the white parts at the ends of the scarf with an organic design. Now it looks like I did my shibori on pre-dyed instead of plain white silk. I love it!