Saturday, August 21, 2010

The long soak

I waited till after supper one evening recently (to take advantage of high humidity through the night) to go out to the studio with the intention of setting up a long piece of silk dupion, but I was sidetracked by the discovery that I had a forgotten dishpan under my work table filled with vinegar soaking a few t-shirts, a pair of tights and a fairly big piece of silk habotai.  All was well.  No harm done after 2 weeks of soaking!!  I thought I'd better get those pieces wrapped and rusting instead so put the dupion on hold.

The t-shirt material is sheer jersey cotton.  One shirt was continuously wrapped around my auger.  I was pleasantly surprised by the results and amazed that the color reached through some 10-12 layers.  Also amazed that only a bit of rust shows on one sleeve...the rest of the piece is a soft gray and black.  It has been rinsed thoroughly but not yet washed, but I doubt I will lose much color.  Hope I don't have to eat those words.


The other t-shirt was wrapped on a large diameter pipe and tied very tightly creating a nice stripe resist.

As I've been doing some very long work recently, I rearranged the tables in my studio placing them end to end at an angle so I can walk around 3 sides easily.  Still the 12 feet of table was not enough for this evening's work.  I wrapped 5 yards of dupioni and let me just say it was quite a challenge and required 2 pipes.  I had to move another table at the end to catch the rest of the fabric.  I'll check it tomorrow morning, but probably won't unwrap till later in the day.  It takes a while for the rust to penetrate 8 layers of this heavier silk.

This is the second long piece of dupioni I've rusted.  The first is 3 yards long and turned out well.  That fabric came from China.  Not photographed yet.  The 5 yard piece I wrapped today was purchased locally and though it goes by the same type name, this silk dupioni was made in India.  It's texture and appearance is different from the Chinese made dupioni.  Pictures coming later.  

Just a note about dupion / dupioni.  The online company where I order my fabric refers to the silk as dupion and that is the stuff from China.  Nearly everywhere else I've seen this type of silk it has been called dupioni.  Both versions are acceptable.  They are both beautiful fabrics, but the Indian dupioni has more shimmer and is lofty and crisp--or at least it was before I tortured it around a rusty pipe!  

Monday, August 9, 2010


Did some experiments the other day with 12" widths of silk dupion and hemp silk.  I like the results and am anxious to try some big stuff this week.

Above: Hemp silk shibori rust, scanned  detail.  Love the texture and the gold/bronze color.  The blurry marks are due in part to the texture of the fabric and the high humidity.  The design reminds me of ikat.   The piece was tied, but I chose to scan an area where that's not obvious.

This is the silk dupion sample.  I can't get over how deep the blacks are. 

Both of these pieces were wrapped with 8 layers for the rust to penetrate.  Harder going for the hemp silk, but I thought when I started out that the dupion was almost of equal weight.  I've used habotai for so many years, did not realize the potential of dupion.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The longest shibori rust so far

I have been invited to exhibit at Kaskaskia College in Centralia, IL. this September/October.  There is a beautiful gallery there and some large spaces to fill.  I've been working on a few long pieces of silk.  I'm pretty pleased with this one.  It's too long, at 112 inches, for my indoor studio pin board set up, so I photographed it on the clothesline next to my outdoor studio. 

You might wonder how the design came about.  Tried photographing the in process piece in the dark.  The days are getting shorter!  (I can't help it--I'm a night person and it was darn near 9 pm!)  This is just after I finished applying the tea before pleating and wrapping the fabric.  The pole/pipe I used is about 8 feet long.

Two six foot tables are end to end here in my outdoor studio.  The 45 inch silk twill is folded in half for the application of tea.  

A new order of silk arrived Friday.  I've purchased some 55 inch wide silk to experiment with.  Not sure how I'm going to handle it.  I'd love to find a longer pipe too. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...