Monday, January 12, 2009

Kanoko Shibori

I am trying to create a version of kanoko shibori for a possible commission.
I am quite sure that I read somewhere that the term kanoko refers to the spots found on deer… perhaps someone out there in blogland can tell me if that is true or if it is a figment of my imagination.
I haven’t done this type of shibori in a long time mostly because it is so labor intensive. Although it is traditional to use thread binding I am using those teensy rubber bands used on braces. Frankly as cheats go I’m quite sure that this one doesn’t give me much advantage time-wise. Anyone who really knows how to do this could lap me really easily! The only way someone can be fast at this is practice, and lots of it. However the rubber bands do give me a very clear resist and I’m less than confident in my ability to create that with thread.
So off to the races…
Working on cotton sateen I marked the fabric with a 1.5 inch grid.

Then I pulled up very small pinches of fabric at each of the marks and bound it with a rubber band, this is a bit harder than it sounds and one of those activities that make you wish your fingers were much thinner (like Eubie Blake thin)
I really love the way it looks bound up
Having bound it dry, I wet out the fabric (very carefully, those little bands can pop off real easy) and plunked it into an activated dye solution, saying a little prayer to the Dye Gods in the hopes that those teensy little bits of rubber would actually do the trick.
The results are good!

I’ve looked through my reference and this seems to most resemble yokobiki kanoko shibori: Square ring dots on a dark ground.
I like the results and popping all those bitty rubber bands off of the fabric when I washed it was really fun… It seems that dots are all around these days!


Eric Heupel said...

I really like it! The use of the braces bands is inspired!
I do all my dots using thread to bind but it is very labor intensive and your bands work arguably just as well. I'm going to try and get my hands on/build a stand like the ones they use in Japan, hopefully that will speed me up a bit.

Elisefilt said...

I love the result!! its so very precise. The shapes a so even in size!
I have done something similar, with buttons tied into the fabric. I found that using one long thread was less labour intensive - not so much in putting it on, but in taking it of.
I dont not use any knots, just fastening the thread under the next winding.

Elisefilt alias Kirsten Elise

alsokaizen said...

Hi Eric the rubber bands really do do the trick as a resist but its hard to get them very close together the way you can by wrapping with string
Elise i've done a similar thing using beads, great minds think alike!

Lucy in the Sky said...

Really clever to use those small rubberbands! I did a few test pieces recently and tied every single circle,it was really time-consuming and I wondered if there is a way to speed things up.
Thank you for this idea!

Susan Fennell said...

The thing about the deer spots is true. It supposedly resembles the spots on a fawn.

alsokaizen said...

Thanks Susan
I thought I had read that but when I went back to check I was unable to confirm it
Its good to know I'm not just making things up in my head!

Michelle said...

Oh, I tie dye

alsokaizen said...

Yup same thing just developed a bit more :)

Ivana Rakhyu said...

Beautiful, and I have a bunch of those bands left over from my son's braces. My question is, though--how do you get them to come out as little squares and not just rings? Do you pull the fabric up in some special way?

alsokaizen said...

The little squares are formed by the weave of the fabric, you dont have to do anything special to form them.