The kind of shibori that I originally wanted to do is called arashi, which means storm. It’s pole wrapped and creates nifty organic diagonal stripes. Unfortunately, you need a pole. Most dyers in the US use PVC pipe, which works well when you are working with scarves that wrap nicely around 4 or 5 inch diameter pipes, and silk, which compresses really well. I want to do cotton interlock in sizes big enough to make a tee, so I had to get creative. Big PVC is really expensive and hard to find. Someone on the web, I think Karen Brito at Entwinements, mentioned using the coated cardboard tubes contractors use to pour concrete footings for decks and things…they are about 12″ in diameter and cost about $10 at Lowe’s, so I was off and running. I used a whole can of polyurethane to make it water resistant and started wrapping!

I arranged the fabric on a diagonal around the tube and wrapped about every 1/2 inch with thread. No pics, cuz it turns out you really can’t stop in the middle without everything coming loose. The fabric was longer than the tube, so I squished the wrapped parts down and bit, arranged some more fabric, and kept wrapping. Then I turned the tube on end and squished everything together. Where the thread is, the fabric stays near the tube; where the thread isn’t, the fabric puffs out a bit, so you end up with hundreds of tiny ridges. This is two yards of fabric squished to about 6 inches:

Then I used a foam paintbrush to dye the fabric. And my feet. <sigh>

This is sort of what I was expecting — white streaks where the thread was:


But most of what I got was way more subtle and interesting:


So, I overdyed the whole thing with a really soft bath of the same red to knock the edge off the white. With some careful cutting, I think this will make a smashing tee:



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