Tag Archives: arashi shibori

Here Comes The Sun

I found summer was slipping by all too quickly without my promised fabric design activities, so I used a lovely day for sun fabric printing with stencils and PVC tubes. The latter I used for arashi shibori, though with paint, not dye.

Frankly, I find it easier to color fabric with paint than with dye. No soda ash baths, no endless rinsing. Of course the resulting colors aren’t as intense, and the color sits on top of the fabric rather than permeating it. I think your chosen method depends on how you hope to use the fabric.

My equipment was basic – Setacolor transparent paints, foam brushes, three or four stencils, a sprayer, paint containers, cotton fabric, foam core boards, 24 inch long PVC pipes, rubber bands, and painters tape. I mixed three colors of paint – a yellow/orange, a red/orange, and a blue/green.

I did the shibori by wrapping folded fabric around the pipe and securing it with rubber bands. Next I pushed the fabric together to form folds and slopped paint on it. Then I sprayed each wrapped pipe with water to encourage the paint to migrate to inner fabric layers.

You can see the outside fabric is darker and the fabric folds are conduits for paint.

The inner parts have some interesting veining.

My stencils were a mix of bought and created designs. The most successful stencil was a plastic place mat I cut the edges from. Both the leaf and numbers prints were done on patterned fabric.

I finished my day with a second printing on my less successful efforts and produced the following:

I mixed my blue/green and red/orange paints to create purple, which I painted over the fabric on the left. For the fabric on the right I mixed yellow/orange and red/orange paints for an orange/red, which created a more subtle effect.

Update: In response to commenters’ questions, here’s a photo of the place mat I used. The edges were cut off. I think I bought it at Target.

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Sometimes You Subtract

My husband was puzzled when I told him I was headed out for an arashi shibori demonstration.  He was even more puzzled when I told him I was going to watch someone remove color from cloth using a pole, string and bleach. I suspect he thought I’d also enjoy watching paint dry.

So, for his and possibly your benefit, here’s what arashi shibori is about. Fine, overall patterns are created in cloth by wrapping it diagonally around a pole, winding a thread around it at measured intervals, compressing the cloth into tiny, tight folds, and dyeing it. (definition from Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada)

The demo I attended used bleach to remove color from wrapped cloth, rather than add color with dye. Local artist Kris Kapenekas shared her fabric discharge techniques at Summit ArtSpace, and her fabric samples were inspiring.  She was generous with advice and handouts.

kris discharge3

kris discharge2The background of this piece and the one above were discharged, then overdyed.  The leaves are made of cotton velveteen that was discharged.

kris discharge4Kris discharge1All the leaves are embellished with beads.

kris numbersdischargeEach of the numbers in “Homage to Robert Indiana” was made of discharged black fabric.  You can see the wide color variations that result from bleach discharging.

I did indeed go home and play around with discharge paste I picked up years ago at a quilt show.  The pole wrapping and bleach discharge await the purchase of more supplies.  Funny how I always need to buy more stuff.

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Filed under dyeing, Techniques