Sunday, 9 September 2012

Double Sided Ikat

On Friday, I drove to Sunningdale stopping off in Stonehouse to buy this fabric. I went there to buy my sister, Dorothy, some metres of  black cotton as she says it is the best she knows for doing patterning with bleach on. The shop is called Abigail's crafts and I recommend it. Some time ago I bought a length of cotton printed with beach huts from this shop. I used it for covering a journal on bookbinding which is already very nearly full so I wanted some more for another book. They had none of the beach huts but did have this which I liked.

The traffic was quite horrible as it was Friday going home time and it took more than three hours - it took me two hours to come home!

Ruth returned from Mumbai on Saturday morning with a lovely birthday present for me. She inquired in her office for the addresses of places to buy handwoven cloth. She told me that, since they were all men, they all rang up their wives!!  A place well off the beaten track was recommended and she was escorted there. She said it was wonderful. The photo shows one piece in cotton which has been block printed with resist. If you look  carefully- expand the picture- you can see the shape of the wood  block which covers 4 by 5 wheels. The fabric has been been indigoed dyed and then the resist washed out. It is lovely and soft.

There is a label which says the fabric is Ajrakh from Kutch

This is the second piece and it is quite extraordinary. First it is ikat, no doubt about that. Second the centre section is reversible - two totally different patterns and colours, one red and white of dancing figures and one green and white of an arabesque pattern - and yet it is ikat. The edge section, about 2 inches wide is not ikat  and is twill in red and white and it is the same on both sides. Both sides are stunning. Also it looks as if it is weft itkat. My theory is that the centre section is a stitched double cloth and the weft threads have been  dyed in two lots with different patterns and different colours and then woven alternately. You can't see it in the photo but there is a small section at each end where the two cloths have been reversed, that is, top cloth becomes bottom cloth. I think I can see an area at the junction of the plainer edge and the centre section where there is something very complicated going on which must be the turning round of the ikat wefts. The red colourof the edge section is quite different from the red of the centre section. The centre section does not seem thicker than the edges and, if anything, the edge section is stiffer. I wonder if a thicker weft has been used in the edge section. How exciting!!

After all the explanations and exclamations, I went off to the Early Music Shop to deliver the lute and then to La Porte Des Indies for a lovely lunch. The entire family was there which was great - lots of presents and cards. It was a very long lunch and afterwards some of us went shopping and ended up in a champagne bar while the others were all cultural and went to the Photography Museum. I stuck with the champagne.

So now I am home and I need to check that all is prepared for the US trip which starts on Tuesday.

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.