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. 




Interesting piece

27 October 2007

I found this image, labelled Hiroshi Murase.  It is quite intriguing.  It has a lot of texture, both visual and physical.  This is probably what I would think of as the back of the cloth.  I see flowers, centers are kanko dots and the petals maki-age!  The vines or leaves appear to be ori-nui, i.e., running stitch on a fold.

The visual texture between the motifs was caused by gathers, these gathers were not moved during the dyeing process or the color would be more even.  Reminds me of willow pattern or flying geese pattern.  What is not clear to me is how these gathers were immobilized; in both willow and flying geese patterns the gathered cloth is tied to a rope.  No string lines here.


Challenge reminder

The challenge finishes at midnight 31 October at which time I will close the Flickr group, so up load your photos before that (EDT). I suspect some of the dates that the photos were taken are default settings on the camera, please check yours for accuracy.


We are having more exciting photos added to the pool!  It seems to me that everyone is learning something.

Makiage & Origami shibori

6 September 2007

stitched flower.jpg
You can see some more images of student work here.
grid circles.jpg

My origami shibori

16 July 2007

Here is a piece that was origami folded, then resisted in my own way and immersion discharged. You can see that the discharge did penetrate well.
discharge origami.jpg
Some nice fuzzy edges, eh?
This and others that were done at the same time are here.

More diapers

14 July 2007

Grace sent two more images of diapers, with more white. I have left the images large so that you can see some of the beauty in the shading, diffusion of the indigo.
diaper 3.JPG

How was this made?

13 July 2007

I saw and took the picture of this piece at the ISS in Harrogate in 2002. They were a series of banners displayed, made by a group of Japanese women, called the Shibori Group I believe. Cotton and indigo I believe. Anyhow I find this piece quite intreguing and has led me to an interest in Origami Shibori. Here is a detail of the same piece.

Folding origami is the easy part. Dyeing it is the hard part. Getting dye thru all those layers is the challenge.
Dyes have different ease of penetration. I percieve the penetration to be the highest with fiber reactive dyes , so in order of decreasing penetration

discharge (sulfur dioxide, a gas)
fiber reactives
acid dyes

My theory assumes that larger molecules penetrate less. Even so the book shows that good penetration can be achieved with even indigo. How do they do it?
First they buy ready-to-use indigo in a bottle:
bottled indigo.JPG
Aren’t you a wee bit jealous? I’d love to buy ready-to-use indigo.
Then they place the tied cloth in an appropriately sized plastic bag:
orgami dyeing 1.jpg
Then some ready-to-use indigo is added to the bag:
orgami dyeing 2.JPG
The air and blue indigo are removed from the bag and then the bag is clamped shut. This is the critical step– having the bag totally filled with the indigo bath and no air. Here is another picture of a larger piece: left: expelling the air, right: then clamped.
origami dyeing 3.JPG
Once you have the bag sealed, you can then massage the wad of cloth inside to increase the penetration.
origami dyeing 4.JPG
This way they have achieved good penetration on dense cotton with even indigo.
origami finished.JPG

Umbellas-by the book

9 July 2007

Here is the page on tying umbrellas from the Japanese book that I used as inspiration for these two pieces. You can see the corners folded into the center (top left), insert a chop stick and some suggestions for tying.
All dyeing in the book is done with indigo. Here is a page of their results:
There are 3 variations on a theme on this page, top is a single layer of cloth, middle one has been folded in to the center once and the bottom one has been folded in again. The information is presented graphically and easy to understand.
The chopstick gives one a hard core to use to push the cloth open or pull it closed. A few more choices than with a spider web. Now you have a use for all of those single use chopsticks you get when you eat sushi out. Reuse– do a little part to save the earth.

Humble itajime

7 July 2007

While visiting my friend, Grace, yesterday I took a picture of some Japanese diapers she bought at Sri Threads in the New York City area. This is a narrow cotton sewn into a loop, you can see the seam on the left side.
itajime diaper 1.JPG
And a detail where one sees the gradiation within the design created by the diffusion of the indigo:
itajime diaper 1 detail.JPG
The SRI Threads website is another good place to be inspired by Japanese shibori textiles.

Another attack on getting the dye to penetrate all the layers in a thick stack of cloth created by origami folding. Use open weave cloth. So I’m doing the same folds but with a very porous cloth, silk chiffon, to try to get good penetration. Here you can see how porous the silk is, you can see all the spots on my print table thu’ the chiffon.
origami chiffon 1.jpg
Here I have folded all the corners to the center, forming 2 layers, and you can still see the spots.
origami chiffon 2.jpg
Another set of folds. Now 4 layers of chiffon and you can still see the spots.
origami chiffon 3.jpg
Another set of folds. These did NOT meet neatly in the center. Now with 8 layers it becomes opaque.
origami chiffon 4.jpg
One last set of folds, now 16 layers.
origami chiffon5.jpg
I pressed and basted the folds in place. Then I inserted a chopstick (I have many in the dye studio) and folded the cloth around it like and umbrella. Parts were tied. Some parts can be pushed together to open that area to more dye.
origami chiffon 6.jpg
After soaking in plain water this was dyed in a yellow gold acid dye.
origami chiffon 7.jpg
At the end of that dyebath it looked like this.
origami chiffon 8.jpg
Some ties were taken out and new ones added.
origami chiffon 9.jpg
Then is was dye red with acid dyes.
origami chiffon 10.jpg
After the red dyebath the ties were re-arranged and it was dyed in a blue acid dye bath and looked like this at the end of the dyeing.
origami chiffon 11.jpg
Now to remove all the resists and see what we have.
origami chiffon 12.jpg
The outside, the one exposed to the dye, looks thus:
origami chiffon 14.jpg
I don’t like the undyed cloth in the top right quadrant. The backside looks like so:
origami chiffon 15.jpg
I can see that the blue didn’t make it all the way thru. And all the way open:
origami chiffon 16.jpg
My conclusion is that there are limits to how far the dye will penetrate even a porous cloth.