About the Techniques

Shibori is a traditional Japanese surface design technique. It is basically shape-resist dyeing. Patterns can be stitched, tied, folded, clamped, twisted, etc. Arashi was developed in the nineteenth century, and involves wrapping fabric around a pole and manipulating it in order to achieve pattern and texture. I have taken classes with Anna Lisa Hedstrom and Yoshika Wada, who is the author of Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped-Resist Dyeing, and Shibori Now: Memory on Cloth.

Vat Dye/Discharge involves replacing existing color with new color. Dyes are applied to fabric by painting, block printing, or monoprint (Dyes are applied to another surface, then fabric is pressed onto the dyes.) When steamed, the old color is discharged and the new vat dye takes its place. I learned this from Janet Taylor.

Devore, or burn-out, involves applying a chemical to silk/rayon blends. The chemical, and heat, removes the cellulose fibers while leaving the protein-based silk fibers intact to develop patterns. Credit for introducing me to devore goes to Anna Lisa Hedstrom.

Batik is wax-resist dyeing. Fabric is painted with wax, then dyed. The dye will not penetrate waxed areas. I'll take most of the credit for this one. I learned the basics in "Kiddie Art" in college, but worked in batik for quite a few years, and developed my own expertise.

Marbleing involves floating paints on a thickened bath. Fabric is laid on top of the paint to transfer the design. I learned marbleing from Mimi Schleicher, but got started when I bought a book by Laura Sims.

Screen printing involves blocking out portions of a fine mesh screen, then pushing ink or dye paste through the unblocked screen to print. Screens can be made with paper, tape, or a photo-emulsion process. I also use Thermofax screens. I took screen printing classes with Christine Zeller and David Bracklett.

Rice paste resist involves mixing acid dyes with a steamed rice paste, and applying this to silks using stamps or stencils. More paste without dye goes over the entire piece. Fabric is then steamed to set the dye, while undyed paste keeps the dyes from spreading into adjacent areas. Akemi Cohn was my teacher.

Scouring involves removing the serecin from silks. Serecin is the natural substance that makes organza stiff. Serecin is removed by boiling for a short time in the presence of alkaline. Fold and clamp shibori allows parts of the silk to be scoured while leaving the serecin in other places. This creates complexity in resulting dyes, as unscoured areas show much more color than the softened areas. Again, thanks to Anna Lisa Hedstrom and Yoshika Wada for this technique.