Sunday, April 3, 2011


I took another class at the Textile Center in Minneapolis and learned a lot. I like to look at my projects and figure out why something turned out that way. Then I can either avoid it or try to do it again.

This one is a silk hankie folded in quarters and stitched in the style of Mokume Shibori. It was actually dyed with a black dye fiber reactive dye but silk takes the dye differently than cotton. I got a nice plum purple.

Most dyes are made of particles of different colors, especially black. You don't have a jar full of black particles, you have a jar full of different colors that combine to appear black. Or at least that is the hope. Black is really hard to get. Paula Burch has some great info about why this happens. There are a limited number of ‘sites’ on the silk fiber that can bond to the dye. Think of Tinker Toys and how the connectors only have 6 or 8 holes for the rods. Fiber only has so many sites to bond with dye. It can be hard to get enough of the dye to attach to the fiber.
Also, the different colors have different particle sizes. So they move through the water and into the fiber at different rates. With Shibori, this can give nice shadings and variations. You can see that the areas that were only somewhat 'resisted' are more blue than purple.

The corners of the stitching aren’t as consistent as I wanted. The inside fold slipped a bit away from the outside. If it were cotton it wouldn’t be a big deal to put in some basting stitches to hold it together better. But silk is less forgiving and the needle holes can show more.

And you can see a string coming off the label. The little labels on strings you get at the office supply store work well to mark them with what color and techniques you used. After a while, it’s hard to keep track of what you did.

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