I have just run a silk scarves with natural dyes workshop at the Artisan Community Art Studio, Dorset. Eight very creative and imaginative individuals took part. A number of them have been on previous workshops and were skilled at producing shibori stitch. I introduced the others to some stitch techniques of Shibori: ori-nui, maki-age and mokume, the most useful for using with silk scarves. Plus also showing them itajime, the method of folding and clamping fabrics.
It was a lot to take in but everyone got going without a problem, setting about stitching or folding and clamping the silk scarf to produce some truly original patterns.
Dyes used on the workshop
All the scarves were mordanted with alum before the workshop so we could just get on with producing wonderful colours on silk. I provided 4 different dyes for all to play with:
- Onion skins to create the yellow.
- Madder root to make the pink.
- Logwood chips to produce a deep mauve grey.
- Indigo to give the blue.
I am going to share some of the super silk scarf designs they came up with to give a taste of the day and to be an inspiration for your creative projects in Shibori.
Ideas and Inspirations
1. Madder and Logwood
The madder and an over dye with logwood was the colour combination of the day! Those two colours were very popular.
Here are examples of 3 different scarves dyed with that combination. Emily loved the more free form shapes, making a number of different sized bound circles all over the scarf and then unpicked and made another set of circles over lapping the first set of circles. The other two examples used an oval shape clamped over a madder tie dyed base. The difference the angle of the shape can make is shown.
2. Indigo Stripes
This is a simple design on first looking, but Penny did lots of experiments to create different effects. The stripe that I felt was very original was cutting strips of plastic and stitching along the fold, then gathering up. Achieving this subtle dot effect in the stripe. There is always something new to discover!
3. Zig-zags on the Diagonal
Simple rows of mokume stitching through 6 layers of silk scarf, the scarf folded into 6 along its length. This was dyed with onion skin and unpicked. Then folded, bound tightly and dyed in madder. Later it was dipped in logwood to create browns and purples, a multi patterned and coloured scarf.
4. Bold Diamonds
Rows of diagonal stitching through 8 layers of triangular folded silk scarf, this was pulled up, dyed with madder and unpicked. Then folded, clamped with a diamond and dyed in logwood. (That favourite combination again!) Resulting in 3 colours, white, orangey pink and mauve. A gorgeous scarf.
Again on this day I have seen how the creative mind of each individual takes on the ideas and techniques presented to them and makes something completely their own. Inspiring!
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