Making “Scrolls”

First of all, I want to say that everyone here is safe and no one has the dreaded virus. (I live in a Continuing Care place.) I feel very safe and am overwhelmingly grateful to our staff and administration. Our director made me VERY happy on Sunday when he said the kitchen could save onion skins for me. Immediately the chef called and wanted to know if I wanted them cooked or pureed!! I can’t wait to get a dye post going and dye some of the fabrics I brought back from India. What’s been keeping my creative mind going these weeks is making “scrolls” by putting fabrics together. Some from trips, some from my weaving, and some of my dyeing. This post is about my scroll-making process.

I have pulled out lots of fabrics. I see one I like—either the foreground or background. Then I fuss around to see what I like together. I hope this checkerboard will work with the gold-leaf-on-paper wefts.

After I’ve chosen the centerpiece, I iron it and crop if necessary, etc. This piece we got in Japan on the island of Amami Oshima. It is ikat. The resist was done by first weaving the warps and wefts on a loom. (For double ikat!) Where these warp threads bind the bundles of then-wefts, is where the resist takes place during dyeing. Then, that weaving is unwoven and the resisted threads are put on the loom or on shuttles!  It is amazing and a thrill to see it being done. I chose this piece because of the fine detail and lovely image. It is a contemporary piece—not anything like the traditional styles woven there. The process is called Orijimi. Silk is what is done with the process in this area and is the finest. Sometimes it is known as Oshima fabric. And is expensive. We were lucky to be able to

Then the background must be ironed. And the proportion of the two areas decided upon. This is where I am with this piece at the moment. I love the background—glorious slub linen threads in an open plain weave. I will double it and hope the moire that I see now will dazzle people when it’s hung. I’m hoping to have a scroll show someday.

Finally the last step is to center the piece and attach it to the background. The “art” is a fragment I dyed with persimmon dye and the ground is a fancy twill I woven just before the pandemic. It has a hard- plied silk warp and a thin black boucle weft. I’ve had the boucle for years but never found a good place for it until now. I’m happy I have a large cone of it

7 thoughts on “Making “Scrolls””

  1. These are beautiful, Peggy, and it is such a good way to display fine textiles. I love the persimmon dyed piece.

    Do you happen to know if onion-skin and persimmon dye are wash fast or light fast? I am hearing a lot of stuff lately about most plant dyes not being fast, and then again hearing that many are, and I’ve been getting confused.

    • Persimmon dye–called kakishibu in Japan, is available on line I think. The Japanese dye works well. I haven’t had luck with homemade. And is very light and wash fast. It can crock like indigo in blue jeans.
      The persimmons are collected in the summer when they are hard as golf balls and about that size. Then fermented. My 2-year fermented dye did not work. Onion skins have been used forever and probably won’t be light fast for pajamas or dishtowels, but generally are pretty fast. Certainly are not fugitive like red beets!

  2. I love all the creative scrolls that you are doing. U are so creative. The gold leaf one blew me away. I had an amazing one & sadly gave it away to someone who did not appreciate its beauty.


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