Thursday, May 8, 2008

Test Patterns

Soooo the results are in and they are... interesting. I made this handy dandy chart to show the patterns I used for the different swatches. Red is the thread on top of the fabric. Pink is the thread on the underside of the fabric. Blue is the 1/2 inch grid I used for the guide. To the right I put the resulting swatch for each pattern.

The top 2 patterns were dyed on the canvas and using thickened dye

the bottom one is a much lighter weight fabric and unthickened dye in two colors

this is the first one, just a wavy line

The second swatch shows the most promise to reproduce the original.

I can actually see fragments of the pattern I 'm going for here. The difficulty I am having is getting the fabric to push up and down smoothly. Some of this is due to the thickness of the fabric but I'm thinking it may have something to do with the way each row of thread is pulled. This one I pulled 1 at a time starting at the top and working my way to the bottom. Once pulled I tried to work the pattern in and out by poking it up and down with a chopstick...

I tried a second attempt using the same pattern on a much lighter weight of fabric but pulled all the up threads first then pulled all the down threads. I think this one looked better tied than flat.

I think I will give it another try using the first method but really working the fabric up and down as I pull it as well as using the lighter weight fabric.

The third one looked really cool when it was bumpy but lost its magic when ironed flat (possible heat set pattern?) Thickening the dye would yeild better results

Other stuff I learned:
upholstrery thread works really well for this
even lightweight canvas is too thick for a 1/2 inch grid
don't rush, wait until you can thicken the dye
chopsticks are good pokers
I can sound really whiney late at night :) (I kind of knew that already)


Anonymous said...

excellent discoveries! you have made a case for really experimenting with altering the stitch patterns for mokume. thanks to you, i now know where to start (2nd pattern) and see where it goes from there.

narablog said...

Wow, alsokaizen, that's great! I can see the pattern emerging here and there -- it seems to be very similar...

alsokaizen said...

Well hello!
I've been checking out the woven shibori at the pool which seems to be creating the same up and down pattern, and messing about with another try at #2 I think the dynamic is right but obviously the process is taken to a much higher level than I've managed...