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slow cloth

August 29, 2013

with the world speeding, fast forward, on all manner of electronic gadgets

I’m happily stuck at a tortoise crawl

from start to finish, a handwoven, handspun, dyed and handstitched item takes many steps and many hours

encouraged by my success at top dyeing the rag rug

I am tearing rags to weave and then dyerag weave 050

inspired by a Japanese craft magazine featuring sakiori

I like to use old sheets as they are easy to tear and give good lengths

the drawback is they are generally a poly/cotton blend and don’t always dye well

 I do the tearing outside to minimize the fibre dust

weaving will be a Winter project

equipment 047

winding a fine linen warp – to my students, that is the red linen

and look how much is still left!

equipment 049

winding on the back beam using lease sticks and raddle

now it needs to be threaded

shifu 081

cutting paper thread (shifu), kakishibu and indigo dyed

the two colours seem made for each other

shibori 210

colour coding the individual shibori projects worked well

now they need to be tightly gathered and dyed

weavers have a saying ” it’s not finished until it’s finished”

meaning to wash/clean the woven fabric

there are still a number of steps to go.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2013 5:17 am

    so that red has a story? your doings, as usual, inspire. i love how there are, like here, several things going at once.


    • August 31, 2013 7:53 am

      Velma – the secret of the red will be revealed later. there has been a little too much going in different directions this summer, need to focus.


  2. August 30, 2013 1:16 am

    I agree that slow is the way to go (if only I could convince my children to give me more time for my “slow interests”!).

    You always share such interesting projects on the blog; it is quite inspiring.


    • August 30, 2013 7:46 am

      thanks Deb – it is difficult when you have little ones who need attention, it helps if you can get them involved. they grow up way too fast so enjoy them now.


  3. August 29, 2013 5:13 pm

    I’ve never made a rag rug, Jean and am thinking about doing one. How wide are the strips? Do the narrow strips tear easily? I am thinking of knitting or crocheting mine.


    • August 29, 2013 5:44 pm

      Myra – like everything I do my woven rugs are not as bulky as is usually recommended. I tear most of my rags at approx. 1/2″ (approx. 1.3mm) but it totally depends on the weight of the fabrics being used. tearing cotton at any width is not a problem as long as it is squared, for small irregular pieces and silk I cut them. for knitting or crochet you would be wise to try several widths, make a swatch and see what works for you.


  4. August 29, 2013 1:15 pm

    I’m a happy turtle, too. You are quite the artist juggling many things at once. The striped linen will look so classy. Brown and blue are my favorite colors.


    • August 29, 2013 1:44 pm

      Kirstin – turtles signify long life! I never realized how beautiful brown and blue were together until I started dyeing with indigo and kaki.

      Kerry – start slowly with one technique, happy learning.

      Barbara – there is lots of shifu going back in the blogs.


  5. August 29, 2013 1:11 pm

    This is all so intriguing! Would love to learn!


  6. August 29, 2013 12:46 pm

    Slow is good! I’ve never seen someone weaving with shifu, look forward to what you create with it.


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