Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Project - Halloween Shibori

I've had this idea for a couple of years, but finally got around to trying it out this year.  Since kumo shibori looks like spider webs to me, a kumo shibori shirt with spider transfers seemed like a great Halloween shirt!  If you've just decided you want to make something for Halloween, this is quick (well, except the the couple hours it'll take you to make the kumo ties).  Little c gets this one!

*white 100% cotton shirt
*Procion fiber reactive dye - Mist Gray
*artificial sinew
*Steam-a-Seam II
*Spider pictures - if you want to use mine, they're here

This project uses a lot of techniques that I've already done tutorials on, so I'm going to refer you back to them!

Kumo shibori - techniques are explained here
Dyeing with Procion fiber reactive dyes - techniques are explained here
Spider transfers - I used the same technique as with the Five Little Pumpkins Halloween shirt from last Monday

Here's the shirt after I made all the kumo ties.  I tried to use as much of the fabric as I could.

I have sometimes had bad luck with vat dyeing shibori with anything but indigo.  Leaving it in the dye bath for as long as is usually needed with dyes seems to allow too much time for the dye to seep into all the folds and under the artificial sinew, and sometimes the designs are lost.  This time I decided to go with a radically shorter dye bath.  I used about half again as much dye as I usually would've.  Then when I submerged the tied up shirt the first time, I swished it around for about 7 or 8 minutes instead of the usual amount of time.  I added all the soda ash (mixed with warm water) at once, and swished it around for about 10 minutes more. I skipped the additional time in the dye bath that one usually does after making all the soda ash additions.  After that, I ran it under cold water until I didn't see anymore dye coming out - without squeezing it.  It didn't take long for the water to run clear using the gray dye.  Still without squeezing it, I cut all the sinew off, breathed a BIG sigh of relief that the webs looked great, and washed it with Dharma detergent (a Synthrapol substitute).  Here it is after drying:

I originally printed the spiders on heat transfer paper to make them into iron-on's, but cutting around all those teeny little legs was impossible.  And when I did manage to get the leg cut out, the pigment rubbed off of it.  So ... I printed them onto ink jet prepared fabric and used Steam-a-Seam II to attach them in the same way as I did with the Five Little Pumpkins Halloween shirt

Happy Creating!  Deborah


  1. Incredibly cute and fun...Love it!!! That's going to look great on Little C :-)