Crimp cloth

Many thanks to everyone for the comments on my last post – it’s been a tough few days, but we’re getting through. I loved that cat so much! and it’s so hard to say goodbye, even when you know it’s the best thing you can do for him. I wish cats lived as long as humans (though if they did, there would be more orphaned cats, so maybe not…).

Anyway, life goes on despite our grief, and we go with it. In this particular case, it goes to Diane Totten’s crimp cloth workshop, where yesterday I wove two lovely samples on my metallic gold polyester thread warp, and finished another sample today.

I stupidly forgot to take photos of the first two samples, and left them at the workshop site, but here is the third sample:

3rd sample from crimp cloth workshop

3rd sample from crimp cloth workshop

And here is a closeup of the green section, stretched out:

3rd crimp cloth sample, stretched out to show pleating

3rd crimp cloth sample, stretched out to show pleating

This sample is weft shibori on a metallic gold polyester thread warp, using a polyester embroidery thread as weft (green and black). The ties are pulled tight and the piece is steamed, which permanently sets the polyester into pleats.

So what was I trying to accomplish with this sample?

Mainly, I wanted to see if I could get godets (triangular inserts into a garment, producing a flared ruffle) without sewing. So I wove the temporary threads (used for pulling the garment into pleats) into either side, gradually decreasing the center, until I had a triangular insert of un-compressed fabric inside a large rectangular piece that was pulled into folds. Then I pulled the threads tight, steamed, and voila! A triangular ruffle, of sorts.

The sample is too stiff for what I have in mind, but the concept seems to work well enough to be worth further exploration. If I use a silk warp and a very fine polyester embroidery thread as weft, I could make a much more supple version, for possible use in Phoenix Rising.

And just what am I planning for Phoenix Rising?

Well, you may recall that Our Heroine was smitten by a really cool dress by Jean-Paul Gaultier a few blog posts ago. Here’s a stylized version of the dress:

Diagonally striped dress by Jean-Paul Gaultier

Diagonally striped dress by Jean-Paul Gaultier

You’ll notice that the light gray stripes flare dramatically into the skirt at bottom, while the black stripes flare only slightly. I could do that with flat fabric, of course, but…what if I created the flare with crimp cloth?

…and, what if I wove the phoenixes into the crimp cloth, so they appeared and disappeared depending on how the fabric was pleated?

I’m not sure how this all plays out yet, but there are tons of interesting ideas to play with here – enough to keep me busy for quite awhile. I definitely need to explore this further!

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