During the pandemic and lockdown, I had decided to try to burn through some of the yarn and/or threads that I’ve had in my stash for well over 10 years. There is a LOT of it to say the least! Most of it is in it’s natural state and either white or ecru so it would be perfect for....you guess it....more Shibori!
This is a rayon cotton blend that it super soft on the spool and I have around 11 pounds of it so, it was next in line for me to play with.
Since this yarn (or rather thread) is not as delicate as the last project in natural silk, I didn’t worry so much about the tension and thankfully didn’t experience any breaks in either the weaving, threading, or winding process.
My ‘go-to’ for Shibori is a supplemental weft placed in at every four picks so, I followed suit with that in these scarves as well.
I did two short runs each around 5 to 6 yards long. Once the fringe was twisted, I bound the fabric using the supplemental weft threads. I typically use left over 8/2 tencel for my supplemental weft threads because they can withstand the pressure that I apply and they are smooth and slick enough to remove easily.
Pink and blue!
After soaking the fabric in soda ash for a little over an hour, I apply the dye mixture and then wrap everything in plastic. The hardest part of the whole process is waiting for 24 hours for the dye to cure. Patience patience patience!
As time goes by, the colors tend to deepen.
After 24 hours, the Shibori, still bound, is rinsed until the water runs clear. I find that blues take much more time to rinse out and that seems like the protocol for almost all blues. Especially turquoise.
I chose to work with pink and blue because I was pretty sure that I would get magnificent purples where the two colors met. This, in my opinion, gives a depth to the fabric that isn’t as noticeable with just one color. Choosing two primaries almost guarantees that I won’t get muddy areas.
Tah dah! This is the best part and feels like Christmas almost every time! Though I have a pretty good idea as to what the finished product will look like, it’s almost always a surprise. I just love Shibori!
And now for the second run. I decided to go with a brown and green as well as a blue and turquoise. Same dyeing process as the first run. Soaking the fabric first in soda ash and then dyeing with fiber reactive dyes and waiting the 24 hours before rinsing.
Again, the blue (in this case turquoise) took the longest to rinse out.
The brown and green washed out rather quickly.
The scarves were left to dry outside (see my avocado trees in the background?!) and then rinsed again with Milsoft to soften up the fabric a bit more than just traditional fabric softener. I think Milsoft works so much better and really changes the hand of the fabric.
Once the scarves were dry, I pressed them with the iron on a cotton setting with steam and the finished result was just wonderful! I have them listed in my Etsy shop and you can see them by clicking here.