Another Scarf

I read about a really interesting technique of shibori that involved pleating, so here’s my take on that. I couldn’t just follow the basics, so I tossed in some tying and came up with what I will call “Rebekah’s attempt at making as complicated and amazing a scarf as possible.”

For this project I used a different kind of silk scarf. One that is called “Habotai” and has a slicker, shinier surface than the chiffon. (Now there’s a tongue twister for you.) I figured it would hold the pleating better than the filmy chiffon kind.

I decided to start off with ironing the fabric into some fan shaped pleats, in the hope that I’d get some fracture-looking lines from the dye running along them.


The trick with ironing or pressing the pleats is that silk doesn’t like extreme heat. I used a low setting, mainly steam, and didn’t stick around too long in any one place. Basically, I used it to sort of ‘draw” the lines which I then tacked down with a needle and thread.

As a side note, I found it a little easier to stack up a whole section of folds and hit it once with the iron, than trying to fold and press each individual line. The individual way I spent way too much time accidentally flattening my previous creases.


Then I tied a whole bunch of cotton thread bits on the diagonal along the whole length of the scarf, giving me something akin to a very unusual spine.


After swishing this around in mild fabric detergent and rinsing it out, I squirted dyes directly on it. Gold ochre, chestnut, black, red, and teal all went into this, then I plopped it into a pot of hot water, gave it a couple stirs, and let it simmer away.


The brown proceeded to go crazy and swallow up everything in sight. When I pulled it out to rinse any excess dyes away, it literally looked like a pile of those dark, shiny brown leaves you see in winter puddles.


Then I took the ties off and pulled out the running stitches. And got this.


Cool, eh? I will be playing with this more – I think a crimson red will be in order – but I got these amazing fan-shaped color swathes due to the pleating and tying.

So, lesson learned – my “gentle pleating” method didn’t do much for direction the dye colors, but it did allow me to tie nice semi circles. Also, watch out for the chestnut dye. It’s rabid.

One Response to Another Scarf
  1. Aunt Debbie
    December 24, 2011 | 11:15 pm

    Once again you have shown your amazing God given creative talents! Beautiful beautiful beautiful. And I mean YOU and your talent!

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