The new edition of Woven Shibori, (Interweave Press) – with a focus on natural dyes – is at the printers right now and will be available by late June! It’s exciting to see the cover and the layout complete. I first wrote Woven Shibori in 2005 and it sold out several years ago. The book has introduced weavers to the concepts and specifics of weaving fabric with woven resist patterning. When the book was originally written I was using many different types of synthetic dyes and layering them in order to accomplish rich color surfaces.
I have now been using natural dyes exclusively for 8 years. My challenge was to develop methods of resisting, mordanting, mordant discharging, and cross dyeing to create unique fabrics that have all the elements I love: texture, color, woven structure, and always some surprises. The natural dye palette and processes not only rival, but I think surpass, the effects I was achieving with synthetic dyes.
Last week I taught a class on cotton printing with natural dyes at Cloth Fiber Workshop in Asheville. I was reminded once again why I teach and why I have written this book. It is gratifying to work with people who are curious, skilled (or not), and eager to learn more. The students in my classes keep pushing me to increase my own knowledge, to better understand what I do know, and to clarify my reasons for working with natural dye.
I would not be the dyer I am today without my own teachers and mentors. Michel Garcia of France and Joy Boutrup of Denmark have been guiding influences. They are both curious and knowledgable and have inspired me to continue down this path. Michel and Joy are also generous teachers. None of us can do this by ourselves.
Although Woven Shibori includes lots of technical information about weaving fabrics for shibori, the dye information should be of interest to anyone who combines resist techniques with natural dye on their cloth.