Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thinking outside the box

I love to visit the hardware store... I can find the best things there for my dyeing! The other day, I was looking through one of my books on Shibori Techniques. I had seen a photo of fabric dyed using bamboo rings to resist the dye. The technique is called 'chikuwa shibori' if you want to search for it on the internet. Anyway, I liked the pattern, but couldn't figure out where I would be able to find bamboo rings. Off to the local Home Depot to search for alternatives.
What I ended up with was a bag of 1/2" PVC couplings from the plumbing section... 25 for $4.00! And just last week, I went to lunch with a friend to a Japanese restaurant, so I had a pair of wooden chopsticks... just the right size to push fabric thru the coupling! I pre-soaked my 1/2 yard of kona cloth in soda ash solution, then folded in half, pushed the couplings on - I think I got about 12 on - then applied hot pink, light fuchsia, rose red and maroon dyes... let it soak for at least an hour, then rinsed/washed, and here is the result:
Now, I will tell you that the result does not look like the photo in my Shibori book. The Shibori example is squarer and the markings are very distinct. But since I wasn't trying to exactly replicate the design... my aim was to see what would happen if I used the couplings... I am very pleased with the result, and plan to try this next on a shirt to see how it does. One of the things I am really enjoying now is that I am not afraid to experiment! I invested a few dollars and some fabric in an experiment and learned a new technique! That's what makes this such a rewarding art form... I am not confined to doing things 'just so'... I get to play! Almost as good as finger painting!

1 comment:

Diane said...

I just love your experiment. It's beautiful.