Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Loom-Controlled Mokume

You may remember that I recently wove a cellulose fiber fabric, with random pickup for my supplementary shibori threads. And here it is, after initial finishing. The fabric is cotton/tencel warp and linen weft. After wet finishing and drying, I soaked it in soda ash solution. After that dried, I scrunch dyed it with fiber reactive dyes, let that dry, then drew up the gathering threads. Then I discharged it with a 20% bleach solution.

Cotton/Tencel and linen woven shiboriCotton/Tencel and linen woven shibori

The really cool thing is that it looks just like hand stitched mokume (mokume means "wood-grained"), which is what I hoped for. Because hand stitching is so laborious, if this effect can be done on the loom, so much the better. I'm considering what to do next to this piece. The fabric itself is so soft, I just love it. In fact, I am just loving handwoven fabrics. In my recent experiments with numerous techniques, I've been using commercial fabrics, and I have to say that I do not like the cottons that are available these days. My preferred fabrics are linen/rayon, cotton/rayon, cotton/linen, and silks, of course. I've tried a few of the commonly available quilting-type cottons, and I just don't like how they feel -- even after being laundered before I use them, then laundered again numerous times after each surface design treatment. The best commercial stuff I've found, to my liking anyway, is Osnaburg. Guess I'm just a homespun kinda gal -- but I already knew that!

Anyhow, below is a silk crepe de chine scarf -- black originally -- that I discharged today, in thiox. I have something else in mind to finish it off, then it will be available for sale.

Discharged silk scarf