How an ENTWINEMENTS scarf is made-6

11 October 2006

This is the final entry on how I make ENTWINEMENTS scarves. The previous steps 1, 2, 3 , 4 and 5 have been published here in the blog and are discussed at greater length in my book, SHIBORI: creating color and texture on silk.

All the poles were dry when I checked them this morning. Sometimes in high humidity they don’t dry overnight, but that is the exception.
dry poles.jpg
Also they look good; the colors in the over-dyes are smooth and bright. Purple Passion is one of our bright, Caribbean colors. Should have named it Purple Polka in keeping with our dance theme, too late now. The purple itself is bright, and now the over- dyes seem bright too. Open we will see some of the discharge color, which is never bright, but hopefully the proportion of the dull discharge color is right so that the whole piece retains its brightness.
I have built a little stand to unwind the poles with a ball winder to collect the string as it comes off.
If you go fast enough with the crank, the string balloons out from the silk ( sorry, we all have our 10-yr. old moments). Anyhow it only takes a moment to unwrap the poles. When the silk comes off the pole side should still be all purple and the up side the colors of the over-dyes.
off pole.jpg
The pole side is to the left and the over-dye side to the right. Now the next question is did I get it discharged right; too much and you loose the purple (this did not happen because the back side is still all purple) and too little discharge and all the over dye colors have purple in them. As one opens the pleats you can see the original purple deep in the valleys of the pleats.
over-dyed side.jpg
The bright yellows mean that I was not over-dyeing purple, that would give a very muddy color.

Now I look at the other side to see if the over-dyes penetrated thru all the layers. The over all effect is not just the upper most layer which is what you see on the top side. As I bend open the pleats on the pole or purple side I do see the bright colors peeking thru.
pole side.jpg
This is the moment of truth. No matter how many times you have done this color there are always uncontrolled parts. Once the piece looks good, a logo– this serves as my signature on a piece–is attached. The logo is about the size of a large bead and is sewn on with some seed beads.
Here is the completed piece:
You can see that the overall color is still bright and purple. You can see that it is much smaller then when it was white silk and in fact is a nice size to throw over your shoulder.
Now arashi shibori, this process, has most often been used to create patterns/designs on cloth rather than texture. So I have stretched out part of this scarf so that you can see the type of design it creates. The piece is too big for me to get a photo of the entire piece stretched out, you are seeing about a yard of fabric.
It is not flat either so the transitions from one color to another are not visible. If I were doing arashi shibori for patterning and not pleats I would do several things differently. First I could take it off the pole before it is dry. But I would change the design too, what looks best in a pleated scarf is not the same that makes the most interesting pattern.
In part 1 of this series I said that the hems, machine-made and hand-made looked about the same after pleating. I have never had any one notice the difference, not even Grace. Here are both for your evaluation:
The upper or green hem is machine made and the lower on has hand-rolled hems on both sides. Once pleated I don’t think there is a noticible difference.


8 Responses to “How an ENTWINEMENTS scarf is made-6”

  1. Saundra Danmola Says:

    Karren, Thank you for sharing this process. I bought you book about a year ago? It helped me to figure out how to get the look of those wonderful cotton caftan the Africans do that I can no longer find utilizing capping and spider webb. Do you get that feather boa look by pleating the piece again only in a different direction?
    Lovely Work!


  2. glennis Says:

    WOW! You are truly the shibori goddess. I unwrapped 5 more poles tonight and 4 of them look pretty good. The 5th one didn’t discharge very well and the color wasn’t dispersed throughout. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. Class dismissed!


  3. KellyT Says:

    Hi,thanks for sharing, and spending time putting together this fabulous pictorial documentation of you at work. I love your book, but your tutorial gives a whole new perspective on the labor, and attention to detail recquired to make your lovely scarves.


  4. I realy enjoyed your explanation of the pleated shibori scarfs. Hope once to make something as beautifull as yours, I love the devices you made for easy rolling and taking of the windings. all the photo’s are very good and say more than words can do.


  5. Els Says:

    Thanks to Kathleen’s link I found your blog.
    Karren, thanks for sharing the process step by step of making an entwinements scarf . You are a great artist.Your book is now on my wishlist and someday I hope I can buy a scarf from you.



    I enjoyed your tutorial. I have one question. Do you wash the garment again after you over dye and set it?


  7. Amanda Says:

    Great tutorial! I’m taking a Textile Design Course in college and my professor recommended this site to look at your work. I love your work, and you teach very well! I hope to some day make work as beautiful as yours! :]


  8. geraldine jones Says:

    Ibought your book in Singapore in June where I was visting my daughter.
    My home is in France.
    I have dipped in and out of working with shibori techniques for the last? years even inviting Vivien Prideaux here for a course on indigo and shibori techniques last year. I was re-inspired by her but your book has given me a new push.
    I love the technicalities – I haven`t got there yet – supplies are a bit of a problem here. I regularly visit your web site.
    Thank you for sharing – it is a delight and truly inspirational
    Many best wishes


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