Saturday, May 24, 2008


I've been working on Jyri, a scarf pattern by Norah Gaughan:

It's a really interesting pattern. As you might be able to figure out from the photo above, the scarf is knit longways. Also, the finished fabric, instead of lying flat, has little peaks in it.

I immediately recognized that the "mountain pattern" used to make the scarf's bumpy texture echoes the shape of fabric that has been wrapped to be dyed following the traditional Japanese resist-dye technique called shibori. If you want to learn more, this is a great book about traditional shibori techniques.

I discovered shibori when I was in art school back in the early 1990's. I still love the effect it can create, kind of underwater, kind of ghostly. Here are a couple of my experiments, using a variety of shibori techniques:

They are hand-dyed silk, dunked in a vat of indigo dye that we made from scatch. Our studio's indigo vat was just a big plastic trash can filled with dye that had to be stirred every day. The cool thing about indigo is that it's green at first and then it turns blue as the dye reacts with air.

Wow, I made those fifteen years ago. . .

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