Sometimes You Subtract

My husband was puzzled when I told him I was headed out for an arashi shibori demonstration.  He was even more puzzled when I told him I was going to watch someone remove color from cloth using a pole, string and bleach. I suspect he thought I’d also enjoy watching paint dry.

So, for his and possibly your benefit, here’s what arashi shibori is about. Fine, overall patterns are created in cloth by wrapping it diagonally around a pole, winding a thread around it at measured intervals, compressing the cloth into tiny, tight folds, and dyeing it. (definition from Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada)

The demo I attended used bleach to remove color from wrapped cloth, rather than add color with dye. Local artist Kris Kapenekas shared her fabric discharge techniques at Summit ArtSpace, and her fabric samples were inspiring.  She was generous with advice and handouts.

kris discharge3

kris discharge2The background of this piece and the one above were discharged, then overdyed.  The leaves are made of cotton velveteen that was discharged.

kris discharge4Kris discharge1All the leaves are embellished with beads.

kris numbersdischargeEach of the numbers in “Homage to Robert Indiana” was made of discharged black fabric.  You can see the wide color variations that result from bleach discharging.

I did indeed go home and play around with discharge paste I picked up years ago at a quilt show.  The pole wrapping and bleach discharge await the purchase of more supplies.  Funny how I always need to buy more stuff.

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Filed under dyeing, Techniques

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