Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Needed: One More Student for 'Shibori Basics: Itajime, Arashi, and Kumo Techniques'

Arashi shibori pattern, indigo dyed on cotton muslin

If you want to learn more about shibori-resist techniques using cotton and indigo dye, I'll be offering a one-day workshop very soon on this ancient art form.

On Friday, February 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center in East Rochester, we'll look at the fundamentals of itajime (shape-resist), arashi (pole-wrapping) and kumo (pleat and bind) shibori with indigo on cotton fabrics. You'll leave with lots of samples and instructions on how to shape, wrap, and fold your way to beautiful patterns in blue on white cotton fabric, along with basic recipes for dyeing with indigo.

For more on this class and others, visit the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center. You may register online or contact me at dkovn@hotmail.com for more information.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Echo and Jin: Optimizing Color with Two Painted Warps


The headline is a mouthful, but the photo above says it better. It's an Echo pattern on eight harnesses, designed by Bonnie Inouye and published in the January/February 2008 issue of Handwoven magazine ("Two Patterns for Two Scarves," available by clicking here.)

I wove this sample using 17/2 silk noil for the warps (two separate warps painted in two different color palettes using Pro MX Fiber Reactive Dyes) and 20/2 pearl cotton in navy for the weft. The warp is threaded on opposites, allowing for two different colors to play with (or against, depending on your eye) each other in the pattern. The treadling too provides for wonderful curves and waves in the design.

The beauty part of this Echo draft is that you can also weave Jin by adding tabby. This is the second pattern that Bonnie refers to in the title of her article. Here is the same threading, with tabby, woven as Jin.


Yes! It looks longer, of course, because you've added tabby. But it's equally lovely, in my opinion, and the color shifts are just as interesting, thanks to the painted warp -- warps, really, because (at the risk of repeating myself) you're using two different painted warps together.

(A brief promotional bit here. I'm teaching the technique in July at the MAFA Conference at Millersville University in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Providing the course fills, that is. The name of the course: "Paint 2, Beam 1," and the aim is to create an ever-changing color palette for your warp, maximizing visual interest using a range of weaving structures.)

In the Handwoven piece, Bonnie has offered a different tieup and treadling for the Jin, which looks like this.


The drape of this fabric is wonderful, by the way. I wouldn't use it for a scarf, by any means, but it would certainly work for a jacket or coat. One caveat: silk noil in the warp is a bit tricky, as it tends to fray and break easily. The two-ply yarn offered me some surprises, to say the least, but the way it took the dye -- simply gorgeous! Silk never fails to please.

Weaving on the Curve in 20/2 cotton

Sampling on 16 shafts with different wefts (top to bottom):  S-twist linen crepe, Z-twist silk crepe, 60/2 spun silk 16-shaft sample with 60...