Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Spool Experiment

I’ve wanted to try this experiment for awhile now. This piece of shibori was created by using a plastic sewing thread spool as part of the resist. To create it I folded a square of fabric into quarters and took a stitch at the center, I threaded the needle through the center of the spool and used pliers to pull it out. (I used a cotton gauze fabric, anything thicker wouldn’t have fit) Once it was threaded through I flipped the spool over and pressed the fabric down around the out side of the spool. I spread it as evenly as I could around the spool, trying to open the folds so all surfaces of the fabric would be equally exposed to the dye. I then wrapped waxed cord around it tightly to bind it to the spool.

After it was securely bound I dyed it using an activated dye solution sprayed onto the exposed fabric. The result was pretty much what I had hoped for. A central dot is the bit that stuck out of the end of the spool surrounded by three distinct bands: plain white (inside spool), solid (top of spool), and a band that shows the tied resist. I would like the three areas to be more distinct than they turned out to be, the dye didn’t penetrate as well as I had hoped it would. I also got a more diamond shaped motif than I thought I would probably because the fabric was folded in quarters before it was passed though the spool. I decided to try it again using fabric not folded into quarters to see if I could get a more circular motif and more even penetration into the fabric with the dye. I also used plastic zips to try to create a more substantial resist hoping that I could apply the dye more heavily to get a solid area. This was only partially successful, I did get the solid band but I like the wrapped resist on the first one better. And it appears that the diamond shape is here to stay!
I’ve been trying to figure out what type of shibori this is Oboshi or Arashi, it has things in common with both forms but isn’t strictly either. Oboshi uses a core to create a resist but it is used in conjunction with stitching, Arashi would describe the wrapping I used here to a point but I didn’t compress the fabric (good idea for another experiment! Mini Arashi!). It is similar to umbrella dyeing too.
I don’t quite know what to do with this but I like some of its qualities and I can think of many other things to try from here…I enjoy how one little experiment can open up so many new ideas in your brain.


mistress of longears said...

What an utterly fascinating experiment! And the results....enlightening and beautiful! Thanks for sharing the step by step! I haven't tried shibori of any kind, but you are an inspiration, and one day (probably after I retire) I intend to give it a shot!

Anonymous said...

I really like this pattern. I am such a color freak that I'd probably try the method with multiple colors (for instance dyeing, discharging, capping the center then dyeing again), but that would probably take away from the purity of the shapes and lines.


alsokaizen said...

I'm glad you liked it Mistress! I look forward to seeing any experiments that you do...If you haven't seen it yet the All Things Shibori group over at flickr is great to check out the work that gets posted there is astonishing!
Oregano you are reading my mind when it comes to trying multiple dye baths! I wanted to try to add layers of color and resist to see how I can build it up in complexity. I love your work in the ATS pool(just added you as a contact!)