Nui (Stitch) Shibori

Since I mentioned working on my shibori stitch resist techniques, thought I would share some photos of a few of the patterns I have been doing. Most are very geometric. A few are pictorial. I have several more ideas. This seems to have taken over my life for the moment (it is rather additive).

Oct 2016 J

Oct 2016 F

Oct 2016 H

Oct 2016 E

Oct 2016 G

Oct 2016 C

Oct 2016 L

Oct 2016 K

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Indigo Napkin Tests

Started testing various types of napkins as well as different stitches for the CHT (Contemporary Handweavers of Texas) conference dinner table napkins. The conference is not until next May but there is lots to do. The more we can get done ahead of time the better.

Tried to use some simple patterns as I didn’t know how much help there would be and what shibori experience there was in the group.

Think we’ll also be doing other natural dyes not just just indigo. That should make for some very colorful table settings.

We’re still checking out napkin sources. I used Dharma for my test. The ones shown here are actually sold as men’s handkerchiefs but are very substantial and easy to work with. I also tried using the Dharma items sold as napkins but they were so thick I had a hard time stitching and even clamping was a problem.

Hope decisions will be made soon. There are a lot of napkins to make.

Indigo Pillows

Have gotten my pillows made for the annual Handweaver’s Sale. The pillow above had little space for embroidery but I did get a bit on it. Didn’t think about the addition of stitching when I sewed the strips together. Was more concerned about getting the most interesting strips maximum exposure.

This pillow had a bit more ‘in front’ space for a bit of embroidery.

The embroidery on this pillow is a bit more subtle. This was the only pillow with shibori designs on both the front and back so embellishment was kept to a minimum.

This is the patchwork pillow and despite all the patterning I decided to add a lot of stitching in a lovely dark orange. This pillow is not going to the sale and is very happily sitting on my couch.

I’m now adding more shibori stitched fabric to an increasingly large pile to get ready for another indigo dye session. Stay tuned for those results.

Also trying to get a little eco printing done. The results so far have been less than spectacular. Think I’ll just concentrate on the indigo for the moment and when that is off my mind I’ll focus on some eco printing.

First Spring Batch

Started my resist stitching last fall. Took my time and ended up with a small basket full of fabric.

Finally made up my indigo vat (was waiting for the evenings to be not as cool as they had been) and dipped my basket of fabric. Didn’t wait to iron my pieces before I took the photos below (although they are washed).

Loved these. Tried several stitch options. They are destined to grow up into a couple of pillow covers.

Another interesting piece. Maybe this design on a couple of larger pieces. Would make a lovely top.

Can’t decide which side I like better. Maybe good for a pillow cover. Each design on a different side.

Only did one clamped fabric. Now that all my stitched pieces have been dyed I’ll clamp some pieces for my next dye day.

More Indigo Dyeing

Enjoying the results from ‘stitched’ resist shibori. Have tried a few ‘shape’ resists and don’t care for them as much. There are so many stitch patterns that can be created in addition to the numerous ones that currently exist. Could be a lifelong undertaking. After sketching out the pattern, the actual stitching is a great evening project

Been Too Long

I can’t believe it has been over a month since my last post. I have been busy with my eco printing and testing more indigo resist patterns. The scarf above is silk printed with rose leaves, Purple Heart and some woodland fern with a few brushstrokes of indigo.

Unfortunately, I also had a computer crash so many hours were spent trying to find all the software and drivers to reload. Thought maybe the computer experts could copy my disk drive to a new one but the best they were able to do was load the operating system. Well at least I had a bit of warning before the crash so, in spite of backing up my data daily, I made a special backup with my ‘can’t do without’ folders and pictures. Experience has taught me now to have a copy of the system image (at least updated weekly) and to do backups that make sense. Finally back in business.

This week I plan on a heavy indigo session. Have several scarves with sewn resists done and plan on starting to prepare the shape resists today.

My Indigo Dye Day

Finally, set up my first indigo dye pot.

As I don’t have any plants of my own, I used the reduced crystals from Pro-Chemical. I had spent a couple of evenings preparing some pieces for the pot. I mixed up my batch, with only a minor ‘did I do that right’.

These are pictures of a few of the first day’s efforts. The color is fantastic.

Unfortunately, it was very warm out. I had originally planned to do this in early May but as I recall we did have a lot of rain then.

By the time my session was over for the day, I had indigo all over my body, even in my hair. I think this is why I dislike painting the house. I do get into my work.

By the second day I was a bit cleaner. But then, I only had some simple ‘dips’ to do. My dye pot is still out there waiting for me. I may come up with a couple more things to put in it before it is no more.