New Project

I finished a new project just before the new year, and have been remissed not writing about it. As you may know I love to dye silk. There is something amazing and ancient about wrapping and knotting fabric in such a way to prevent or direct the dye to run in a certain way, creating a pattern. I am still learning how to develop my style of Shibori. The dye i buy can be used on any natural material, which includes cottons.

A friend at work asked me to work on cotton, and dye the cotton then stretch it on a canvas for wall mounting. Wow, that was a stretch for me because i have not experimented with dye on cotton but I like a good challenge.

Off to the fabric store I went, and purchased a yard of off white muslin. I treated the fabric just as i have with silk, then bound the fabric to make floral patterns, and carefully selected a wide palate of colors…. I hoped to recapture something in the past….

Last winter when I was experimenting with colors, dye, and patterns I dyed a scarf that I was calling Monet’s Electric Garden… floral patterns but a diversity of colors, and asymetrical… meaning that from one end of the scarf to the other the pattern does not repeat… so when you wear the scarf you can have different looks and different appearance depending on how you tie or wrap it.

Here is the scarf:

And from this inspiration I gathered the muslin carefully to create floral forms. I picked an amazing array of colors from hot pink and vibrant yellow to deep crimson and forest green.

Lessons learned:
1. Cotton does not absorb dye in the same manner as silk. When dye hits silk it begins to spread out in large pools and run until the dye encounters a boundary (whether a knot, a tied area, or actual resist material). The dye did not want to run or absorb into the cotton but it required moistening the fabric and then rubbing the dye into the material.

2. I like challenges, and I love how this project turned out. Simply amazing to apply dying concepts to different fabric and see amazing, wonderful results. Muslin does not have a sheen like silk, but that makes it more interesting, more challenging to design the floral forms. The outcome was reminescent of a monet painting… which may be exactly what I had hoped… And this challenge was not something I would have thought of myself.

3. Be open for change, willing to try anything to diversify your portfolio, try new avenues, or give yourself new opportunities of growth.

So here is the result:

1 canvas ready to use
1 piece of dyed, dried, steamed and pressed muslin
1 staple gun loaded for business
adhesive spray mounting
deep breath……
exhale …. and here it is:

I am actually thinking of developing a series of framed art based on shibori dye design. I love to see these patterns, and the delicacy of the dye patterns. I am hoping this might be something others might like to hang on a wall. Love to hear your feedback.