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Monday, November 1, 2010

A Tiny Adventure in Ikat.

One of the things we used to see along the mountain roads in Guatemala was long lengths of warp threads drying in the sun, held up off the ground on forked sticks.  The warps were cotton and had been tie-dyed and then dyed indigo or black.  In Guatemala this technique is called jaspe.  In the world of weaving it is also called Ikat, which is Japanese.

I decided to try a little ikat at home.  I measured out a couple of yards of silk warp and then tied it up and down. 

Then I dyed it dark green.  When I took off the ties there were little white areas.

Here is how it looked on the loom.

Here is how it looked woven.

There was only one really big surprise here.  I wove the silk at 24 epi and it was so tight the resulting cloth felt like cardboard, or at best, upholstery fabric and was barely shiny at all.  The little white streaks were interesting but I realized I'd have to go back to the drawing board and experiment more with the sett before designing a complete project.

Once again, I am GLAD I made a sample! 

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