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a tale of tangled yarns

October 25, 2011

a friend brought me some very fine, mercerized, 2 ply cotton from China. It’s beautiful, only one problem – it was wound into balls using 2 threads at a time. Oh that’s great – said my brain – 2 balls so 4 threads at a time to wind the warp. That was a mess!  So, using 1 ball and 2 threads I wound a warp of 786 ends, 3 1/2 yards long for 60 ends per inch.


to weave woven shibori.

 an 8 harness twill pattern with a 3/5 twill shibori pattern.

I’ve woven this before in 60/2 silk with coloured stripes in the warp. The horizontal coloured yarn is the pull-up threads for the shibori pattern.this is what it looks like when pulled up as tightly as possible. The funny blue thing? at the top is plastic resist tape wrapped around the fringe. It can be dyed at this stage but I wrapped it around PVC plumbing pipe, to act as a resist, and then dyed it. When it was dry it was turned over, wrapped around the pipe again and dyed another colour.

Not finished yet, it takes hours to remove the pull-up threads being careful not to damage/cut the woven fabric.




the dyes were cochineal, pomegranate (iron modifier), kakishibu and something?yellow all mordanted in alum.

the silk held the texture even when washed, not  ironed.









so now to finish the weaving on the loom and dress the loom with the cotton warp.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2011 12:00 am

    The silk scarf is unbelivable, so complex to make, who could understand if not aweaver?


  2. October 31, 2011 7:48 pm

    the cotton one sounds enchanting! this is a time-consuming technique i would like to try; would it make any difference to use a linen pull thread for strength (to decrease the chances of it breaking when pulled tight)? you must post photos when it is all dry!


  3. October 26, 2011 1:12 am

    Jean, this is awesome!! and so subtle.the cotton one will be awesome too.
    i know about removing those threads, i still have this long sausage lying around untouched.


  4. October 25, 2011 6:09 pm

    Oh, I re-read it and I think I now understand that the finished scarf is the silk one you made before. Still gorgeous! And the cotton one is coming? I’m looking forward to seeing it.


  5. October 25, 2011 6:05 pm

    Oh my goodness! The mind boggles – 60 e.p.i.? And all those threads to pull? Wow. It looks gorgeous, of course!


  6. October 25, 2011 4:00 pm

    It is beautiful! I am experimenting a bit with the woven shibori and it is an interesting process.


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