At the MAFA conference in Millersburg, PA I taught a class in woven shibori. This is a technique that combines weaving with dyeing. This technique was developed by Catharine Ellis and her book, Woven Shibori, is a wonderful resource.
The first step is to weave special fabrics with extra threads woven in for gathering. We used all different fibers, silk, cotton, wool, tencel, and bamboo. We were able to use all these fibers sucessfully with natural dyes, even the cellulose fibers.
The supplemental weft threads are pulled up to gather the fabric. This can be done with undyed fabric, or it can be dyed first.
Dyes are applied in various ways, painted with a brush, simmered in an immersion bath, or dipped in the indigo vat.
The fabrics are opened to reveal the dyed patterns…always a surprise! We all had a great time.
Next, I will be sharing my experiments with dyeing using fresh indigo from my garden. It’s a lot of fun!