Woven Shibori: Weaving, Dyeing, and Shaping

by - Friday, April 09, 2010

2010 Maiwa Textile Workshops
Catharine Ellis
$450 (Includes $95 Lab Fee) Four full days

September 20 - 23 (Mon - Thu) 10 am - 4 pm
Maiwa East – 1310 Odlum Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Class Limit 14

Registration Opens June 21, 2010

Woven shibori makes it possible to place the “stitches” into the cloth while it is being woven on the loom. Those stitches are actually supplemental warp or weft threads that may be structured as a twill, a lace, or other pattern. The supplemental threads are used to gather the cloth. Subsequent dyeing results in an image of the woven pattern that is visually softer and less rigid than the original structured cloth.

Explore the relationship between woven cloth and shibori using the loom to create shibori resist. We will start with the basics but quickly move into a variety of woven structures such as lace weaves, block weaves, and even plain weave to develop a larger vocabulary of patterned resist with the loom.

The ability to weave fabric and choose the yarns for construction gives the textile artist infinite variations for designing. Participants will weave fabrics of wool, silk, and other fibres to create woven resists for dyeing and shaping. We will explore the use of crepe spun yarns, polyester shaping, and felting to create one-of-a-kind fabrics suitable for wearables or interiors. In addition to hands-on exploration, the class will focus on understanding the theory behind the process. Natural dyestuffs will be used for dyeing in immersion baths, direct application, layering, and discharging colours.

Catharine Ellis

Catharine Ellis taught the Professional Fibre Program at Haywood Community College for 30 years before retiring in 2008. She is now devoted to studio work and teaching a limited number of workshops. Her original training was in traditional woven techniques, which led her to weave functional fabrics for many years, often incorporating ikat resist dyeing. More recently, her career has been defined by the discovery and exploration of the woven shibori process.

“Woven shibori has challenged all that I know about weaving and has led me to investigate new materials, resists, dyes, and finishing processes. The fabrics I have produced include combinations of dyed cellulose fibres, wool felting and resist, permanent shaping with thermoplastics, and woven steel with heat treatment. Continued exploration of woven shibori and its applications will define and my guide my work for many years to come.”

Most recently Catharine has been exploring applications of Jacquard and industrial weaving in combination with hand dyeing. She has been working in partnership with The Oriole Mill in Hendersonville, NC, to develop fabrics for both chemical dyes and natural colourants. www.ellistextiles.com

Student Supply List

Requires a 4-8 shaft loom, prepared according to provided instructions. Weaving experience is required.

Pre Workshop Preparation

- Warp and thread looms with the warp provided by instructor 4 – 6 weeks prior
to the class. Threading Drafts will be sent at that time.


- Prepared loom
- 2 or 3 shuttles with bobbins
- Hand bobbin winder (if you have one)
- Sley hook
- Needles (large blunt tapestry, crewel and sharp sewing needles)
- Graph paper and notebook
- Pick up stick – longer than 12 inches
- One spool quilting or buttonhole thread, any colour
- Seam ripper
- Apron and old clothes to wear

Please bring a bag lunch. All other materials supplied.

Look for the full course calendar on the web in early May. A print version will be available in June. Registration opens June 21, 2010.

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