Thank God for samples

30 October 2007


For the maki-age challenge I decided I wanted to make pine cones on some of my jackets. When I was in California in June some very dear friends took me for a picnic among the sequoias so sequoia pine cones seem to be the right inspiration:


 Maki-age Pine Cones

 Maki-age seems like the perfect technique.  I’m worried about the spaces between the bound shapes, if it is too small the dye won’t penetrate and the design will loose its focus.  So a sample is in order, and I have plenty of scraps of the silk noil gauze  from making the jackets.  So I enlarge the design (the pine cone without the stem is about 8" high)and traced it onto the cloth:


I drew two pine cones; one with the purple dressmakers marker (Dritz Disappearing Ink Marking Pen) and this one with the pencils I use for tie-dye (EZ hot-iron transfer pencil).   Both gave me problems on the nubby, very absorbent surface of the silk noil.  I tried 3 different purple making pens and none of them put out enough ink to clearly mark the cloth; I had a faint lines with gaps.  The pencil, which I use to write on damp T-shirts when I’m preparing them for tie-dyeing wouldn’t write on the dry noil, I had to dip the pencil in water to get it to write.

I stitched each little motif for maki-age.  The stem I did last and did in a open satin stitch that gathers the stem.  Then I gathered and tied off each section (required band-aids for blisters):

Now I bound each section, I dampened the cloth with a spray bottle so that the cloth compresses well.  Since the poofs were already formed I sort of use the kanoko binding technique; forming a half-hitch over my fingers, transferring it to the poof and then pull it tight.  I put 2-3 half-hitches on each poof, all 17 of them.


The poofs were small and I was concerned about getting them effectively bound but each was hard after I got it bound.  I soaked it then dyed it in a dark brown Lanaset dye bath.


Obviously the Lanaset does NOT dye cotton string, the color contrast makes of easier removal of the binding string.  A seam ripper helps get out the stitching thread.


Well I may have bound it too much, I’d like a little more patterning inside each motif.  Next time I’ll just put one half-hitch on each poof and I might be a bit more brown dye in the white areas.  This still wet and although  I don’t usually wash the Lanaset dyes until they dry, I washed this one to get rid of the marking lines.

 I washed it with Orvus, NADA.  I tried Synthrapol. I tried all the laundry stain removers I have; nada, NADA. 

Ok, this bright pink is there forever, can I tone it down?  I mixed a bit of green dye into some print paste and painted it on the pine cone  several times and then heat set it.   The white turned chartruse and the pink may be a little duller but it still dominates the design.  Finished design:

Thank god it is only a sample!  I hate pink at this moment.

I have used these pencils on cotton T-shirts for years and they disappear, never had this happen before. Silk takes dye sooo much easier than cotton.  Usually when I soak the T’s before dyeing the red line disappear.  Didn’t when I soaked the silk.  Then the dyebath was acid and heated where the cotton dyes are alkaline and not heated.  I now see that it says

"The heat melts the design into fabric and becomes permanent."

I’m looking for soft graphite pencils.  On to the next mistake. 




6 Responses to “Thank God for samples”

  1. glennis Says:

    Karren- thanks for sharing your “mistake” with us. now we don’t have to make it ourselves!
    I wish my mistakes looked this good!
    love the pinecone design.


  2. coral-seas Says:

    I can’t work out how to leave a comment on Flickr so I will leave it here and hope the Maki-age Challenge group see it.
    I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the challenge pieces in Flickr and reading about them in your blogs, you all have produced some stunning work. I look forward to seeing more in All things Shibori.


  3. isa vogel Says:

    Hi Karen- it looks mighty good to me. if you wanted maybe a dilute solution of oxyclean would get out some of the pink altho as it comes over it looks very interesting to me-isa


  4. I love your attitude—“On to the next mistake!”


  5. I love your attitude—“On to the next mistake!”


  6. Andrea Says:

    Hello! I think your work is just amazing! I have done some surface design and fell in love with it. I am looking all over for a Shibori device so I can make those tiny beautiful dots on my fabric. Where oh where do I find these?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: