Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Project - Kumo Shibori


Kumo shibori takes a bit of time to do (and strong fingers!) but it looks spectacular.  It's often described as being spider webs - I think it also looks like jellyfish or galaxies.  There is a tool that is used in Japan for this tie that has a spike you hook the fabric over.  I don't have that tool and have actually never seen one for sale in this country!  However, it's not hard to get the same results without it.

I use artificial sinew for most shibori ties - see the materials section of this past post for information on it.

Take a chopstick and wrap your fabric around it - hard to see the chopstick, but it's there!


Pull the chopstick out and twist the fabric - how long of a twist you make will determine how large your motif will be.


With artificial sinew, begin wrapping at the base of your twist and continue wrapping to the top.  You'll probably have to keep retwisting as you wrap.


Wrap back down to where you began.  I like to make an X with the top wrap over the bottom wrap.


Cut off sinew, bring both ends to the front, and tie a double knot.  If you're making a lot of kumo motifs you can just move on to the next twist without tying (using one long, continuous strand of sinew).  It makes it easier to undo after dying, however, I like to tie each twist - I feel it keeps them tighter.

You can then dye your fabric any way you want - tub dying, squirting a bunch of colors onto it, indigo, ...


This visual from a class I taught shows the steps in drawings.  We were doing small sample pieces, so we used toothpicks instead of a chopstick.


If you're crazy, you can take a yard of cotton and tie a bajillion twists!


Here it is being dyed in indigo (more on indigo dying here).



And the finished fabric, which makes all those twists worth it!


Happy Creating!  Deborah

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