Having gotten the urge to play with complex designs out of my system, I’m settling down for some serious experimentation with woven shibori. I’m testing what happens with square designs, diamond designs, and mixing plainweave with floats (on either side of the fabric). Here is the profile draft (showing only the ties) of what I am currently weaving:
Because this is the profile draft and doesn’t show the plainweave background, you’ll have to mentally add four rows of plainweave between each row of ties.
Here is roughly what I think is happening. Consider this an “artist’s concept”; this is all happening in 3D and all you get to see at any given point is a cross-section. It’s more my intuitive idea of what happens when the ties are pulled taut (the straight line represents the ties):
Basically a section of fabric can be either above or below the tie. If it’s on top, it folds to the top; the height of the fold is dictated by the length of the float. If it’s below the tie, then it folds to the bottom. Plainweave sections are a sequence of very short alternations from top to bottom. I am pretty sure the diamond pattern on the bottom is an inaccurate depiction, but I’m sort of at a loss re how to diagram it adequately using only a cross-section! In theory it should balloon up in a diamond form, in practice it seems to collapse into folds.
Whether a fabric is on top or bottom influences what color it winds up as, if you are using two colors. I plan to dye using two colors for this piece (which will be about 50″ long, all told) to illustrate the difference between above and below the ties. I’m currently about 1/3 of the way through the weaving, and expect to finish the weaving tomorrow evening, pull the ties on Thursday, and dye the fabric on Friday morning. I may break it up into two sections to make things go a little faster.
I have also switched to using 4 lb test monofilament nylon fishing line, which disrupts the pattern a little less than the nylon upholstery thread. It is a little slippery and a little weaker than I would ideally want. Since I am also going through it at a rapid clip, I’ve ordered a 1-lb reel (about 7000 yards) of 6-lb test fishing line. That should be stronger, and is enough to keep me occupied for awhile. I ordered it from an online fishing surplus shop (who knew there was such a thing?!?) so it wasn’t too expensive, about $35 for the 1-pound reel.