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0 In Scarves

Shibori – Experiments on Silk Scarves

The Shibori Process

Shibori is a Japanese word for a technique in which fabric is shaped, bound and dyed. Some may call it tie dye, but it is a far more sophisticated technique of resist dyeing.. My art lies somewhere between the two as I would never have the patience for controlling the pattern as it’s done in Japan. My work is still carefully planned but also sometimes unpredictable.

I begin with folding the blank twill scarves in half, so that each end will be symmetrical. From there I fold lengthwise and into triangular shapes. There are many ways to fold but I’ve found that the triangles contrast well with later horizontal patterns. After clamping and dyeing the completed triangle, there’s a lot of white in evidence, but it will get coloured with dye at the next stage. I first iron and then refold in the same way but this time into a long silk strip. This is wound carefully around a tube. Whilst beach combing in Angelsey, Wales I came across a strong plastic tube that has been very useful for this technique. I have other assorted PVC pipes, tubes and C clamps.. After dyeing, I may unfold, iron and repeat to achieve more depth of colour. When satisfied with the patterning, I lay the ironed scarves flat on plain newsprint ready for rolling around a metal pole and placing in the steamer. These don’t need as long in the steamer as the batik scarves. I have a video about steaming the batik silk scarves on my YouTube channel.

0 In Scarves

Folding, Clamping, Dyeing – Shibori in 2 stages

Shibori Patterned Scarf
Patterns were created by folding and wrapping on this twill silk scarf.

I’ve just taken some new scarves to my main outlet, a gift shop in Southport (UK). After experimenting with different ways of folding and dyeing to create patterns on the silk, I came up with a two step process using shibori techniques. A short clip of the second step can be viewed on my Instagram. I’m painting on twill silk, a heavier weight that takes the dye beautifully and is less slippy on clothes than crepe de chine. I only have a fair idea of how the patterns will look when the scarf is unwrapped from its folds or unrolled from around the tube.