Today I'd like to show you some fabric I dyed with the tie&dye technique. You might be familiar with the hippie version of this technique, very popular for dyeing T-shirts. The most common thing is to tie the T-shirt into a big knot and to immerse it into the dye. The exposed fabric will take the dye while the fabric inside the knot will resist it and keep the original colour. This way you usually get a spiral or round shaped pattern. In this course we wanted to go a bit further so we looked for inspiration in places where this technique is traditional, like Japan and some parts of Africa.
In Japan it is called shiboriand the dyeing resistance is achieved in different ways: you can wrap small portions of the fabric with thread, which gives you a series of dots that create a pattern, you can fold or pleat the fabric and then clamp it...etc. The level of sophistication of this practice is amazing. The short video below gives you a quick overview on these techniques. You can watch the following parts in YouTube.
Now that you are so curious about shibori you can watch a short documentary here, followed by this.
Here you can see how I prepared the fabric. I pleated and ironed it and them clamped it with pegs.
The first picture in this post is the result of this particular technique, as it is the fabric pictured below.
You can use other things to clamp the fabric, as long as they hold the fabric tight and prevent the dye to penetrate in certain areas.
Instead, a more organic effect is achieved by folding the fabric by hand and wrapping it with thread, cords, rubber bands or whatever you want to use. The pictures below are examples of this.
Here is a fabric I dyed this way and the screenprinted an abstract motif on top of it.
I'll show you more of the shibori techniques I experimented this year. I have to say that my way of doing it could be considered a very 'personal' version of this traditional technique...Well, it was a total improvisation freely inspired on what I saw in books and the internet. I guess that sweet old Japanese lady in this video would have a stroke if she saw my way of doing it.
In the picture above you see the process of removing the stitches after the fabric is dyed. I tried the stitching techniques both by hand and sewing machine. To be honest the results weren't the best but I really enjoyed the process of pleating, making ruffles, stitching and incorporating three-dimensional objects. I was really tempted to not dyeing the fabric and leave it like that, as a kind of textile sculpture. (Note to myself: I have to keep exploring this in the future). So here it is a batch of pictures of that process.
The results, as I said, aren't very impressive. I can imagine the little Japanese granny rolling her eyes and shaking her head with disapproval :
We came to live in this neighborhood by chance. After several weeks of apartment hunting I was a bit desperate. Then I saw the ad. The apartment was the best looking I had seen in weeks, the price was surprisingly reasonable for Barcelona and it was close to the school and the public transport. When I came to view it, the person who had an appointment before me was late, so I went in first and booked it immediately. I had the chance to talk to the guy who was late and he was as desperate as myself and pulled his hair for not being there on time to get that nice apartment. I patted him on the shoulder and smiled at him compassionately... No, I didn't. Apartment hunting leaves no place for compassion.
I was new to Barcelona and my boyfriend was still living in Ireland, so none of us had a clue about the place we were going to live in. It looked calm, silent and green. It didn't look like Barcelona.