Scraps and Patches Make for More Scrolls

I mounted this piece wrong-side-up because the mending was so interesting. Notice the ikat patterns and stripes in both the warp and weft.


Here is a close look at the patches on the wrong side of the silk fabric. Notice all the stitches on the big patch.


Here is the right side. Up close, the pattern doesn’t match at all, but that wasn’t the point. A patch is a patch. I bought this fragment at a flea market. Probably it was part of a kimono that was taken apart and sold in fragments. I am lucky that someone cared to pass it along.


This is a scroll of my weaving and dyeing. I think I was wiping out the last drops of Japanese green persimmon (kakishibu) dye and liked how it turned out.


Here is the piece up close. It’s small: 4” x 12”.


Remember this “fancy twill” from a previous post?


This scroll has another scrap I saved from my persimmon dyeing period. The background silk was dyed with clamp board resist technique in Japan.


Detail of above. My piece is 4 ½” x 17”.


I just discovered another scroll with a persimmon dyed piece mounted on a piece of the same fabric as the first photos. It’s small, too 5 ½” x 7”.


Odd Scrolls but Interesting

I loved this little bag the minute I saw it in a tiny shop in a neighborhood in Japan (Tokyo?). While Cathy did her shopping in another shop, I went back and got it. I’m so glad I did. I put it on a scroll so I could look at it whenever I liked. It’s really small 6” x 7”.


I love the delicate weave of the cloth on top. The bottom is made up of the cocoons or skins of insects. More about them next.


I found a sheet that had these “skins” glued on which I had framed when I got home. I think the insects are a bit like tent worms, but I don’t know how these cocoons or skins are formed. They are like the paper in those big wasp’s nests. A friend in Japan said she had them in the trees in her yard as a child.


Here is a close up of an obi I got at the same Japanese antique textile dealer’s shop in Tokyo. Imagine all the work trimming each one and then the piecing.


My mother-in-law gave me her mother’s collection of baby caps she collected in Germany. There were two caps like this one in with some scraps of lace she gave me. They are covered with tiny stitches.


I took one apart and mounted the pieces on an indigo blue background. They aren’t impressive as a scroll but when you look closely at the stitches, you become impressed!


These two pieces were sewn together to form the sides and the top. It was a pleasure to unpick the teeny tiny stitches that seamed the pieces together and enjoy the designs stitched on the cloth.


Scrolls Project Ending!

Introduction:

I began making scrolls a year ago. Now I’ve made 55 or more scrolls in four collections. The first was dyed linens, the other three about putting texties together. The first two collections were in two shows in the gallery where I live. The last two groups I’m photographing now and are in this and some future posts. I must admit everything in the last half of the project has its art pinned onto the background fabrics! It’s like they are the first drafts to me.

This is a shibori hankie I dyed and gave as gifts on one of my trips to Japan. One man immediately put it in his shirt pocket which was fun. The background is a piece of a kimono found at a flea market in Japan. The narrow width tells us it was part of the collar/borders on the front. It is precisely done double ikat. That’s why the pieces were saved.


I folded the cloth then wrapped it on a pole for the resist. It was then dyed in indigo. The folding I did after taking a workshop in shadow folds with Chris Palmer at Slow Fiber Studios in Berkeley. I used silk handkerchiefs from Dharma Trading Co.


I wove the background with a deflected double weave recipe some of my weaving friends were doing. It’s from the book, Double Weave with a Twist. The square you may remember from a Chines boutique. I love the stitching, so this is a way for me to get to enjoy it rather than have it stuck in a drawer or under a mug.


This shows the stitched piece. There are layers of cloth. Ms. He Haiyan, in her boutiques in Beijing and Shanghai, uses scraps for lots of lovely projects and keeps her sewers busy. You may remember the post, “More Ideas for Projects” November 15, 2020.


1. I did the shibori
2. I dyed the background black walnuts
3. Close up of bag on previous scroll. I love it. The squares are the skins of cocoons from tent worms or something similar from Japan. I also have an obi made of them. And a collection of them framed.
4. I dyed the scarf. The purple is an old piece. The dye precious.


Both are felt pieces I made on cloths with heavy indigo coating (I think).

This is another felt piece on the indigo background. By mistake I ironed on the fusible lining on the front side late last night. I quick went to th internet for how to get it off. Steam and a press cloth. I was desperate. It didn’t come off but I decided it was interesting with the press cloth wrinkled up when I pulled it off. Thank goodness I was using a scrap of the interfacing so some of the original pattern of the indigo coated cloth was still visible. Whew!! If I had more cloth I might try it again. Or on something else. How ideas are born I guess.


A “Find” in a Junk Shop in SE India: Angavasthram

On the wall at The Bangala Hotel (A Traditional Chettinad Home), Tamil Nadu State, Southern India

A year ago I went with my tech guy on a photography tour to SE India—an area called Tamil Nadu. Up until then I had only used point-and-shoot cameras on my travels. I had a lot to learn; it was for serious photographers. I was the only textile person; however, we did visit a silk weaving business that had jacquard looms weaving silk saris. I bought a simple one that is wonderfully iridescent.
One day we had free time and Bob and I hired a “took-took” to take us to a village to look in the antique shops—more like junk shops—so they were interesting. In a cabinet with a glass door, I saw what looked to me like a bunch of decorative tapes or ribbons. There was a lot of gold patterning on these very long things. I asked to see them and thought they would be great for my scrolls that I was going to make when I got home. There was a large, framed photograph showing how they used to be worn which interested me mildly. Bob did the bargaining, and I came home with 7 different ones.
When we got to the hotel, a woman told me that they were called angavasthram. I wrote down the word and that was it.
The owner of the little weaving factory knew more and said that they were special, and I could not cut them up. That was that.
At the hotel outside our room were a few old photographs of men wearing the angavasthram! We took pictures of the photos in their frames, so they aren’t very clear but enough to see how important men wore them. I haven’t found much on the internet, except that it seems that this was unique to this area of India and worn by Brahmin.


This is what I saw in the junk shop.


So, I did make a scroll after all. I discovered that the inside was as interesting as the outside.


On the wall at The Bangala Hotel (A Traditional Chettinad Home), Tamil Nadu State, Southern India

This photo looked like a family photo with only the men wearing the anvagasthram.


On the wall at The Bangala Hotel (A Traditional Chettinad Home), Tamil Nadu State, Southern India

Another family photo I presume. I wonder if the different arrangements mean anything other than “taste”.  I also wonder about the bands on the foreheads, shoulders, arms and chest.


On the wall at The Bangala Hotel (A Traditional Chettinad Home), Tamil Nadu State, Southern India

Even this little boy gets to wear one. Notice that it is dragging on the floor in the back.


A Scroll with Gold Leaf

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I just finished this and it’s hanging in our little gallery for residents.

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The background is a shawl I bought in India and loved except for one border one on side. So, I folded it back and made rows and rows of stitching on it. What fun it was to run my sewing machine on and on.

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Here is a close-up of the art. I got it at a flea market in Japan. It was mixed in a pile with other stuff and it was a wow when I discovered it. Gold leaf was put on paper, then thin strips cut for the wefts. In Kyoto we visited an artist whose family did the traditional gold leaf part then sent it out to the person who cut the strips. He is now a contemporary artist. He spent time with us showing how he worked. I bought a beautiful piece of art he made in gold leaf and treasure it.

French Knots, Tailors’ Tacks, Pins, and Clothes Pins

Introduction:
I finished a few of my scrolls lately. And the last touch was to attach the art to the backgrounds. For a year or so I’ve been using straight pins. Now, I used different techniques to fit the situations. I included at the end of the post directions for French knots and tailors’ tacks.
This was the piece that started the revolution away from straight pins. I centered the top piece and then as soon as I moved it, it floated off any old which way. I decided French knots on some of the spots would hold it in place. And they worked. I dyed both the fabrics with indigo and black walnuts. They started out white. The thin one is organza which dyes wonderfully well. I think the spots were a gift. Clothes pins are good hanging devices I’ve discovered. I do plan to replace the hanger.

I tacked the organza piece on the top with French knots.

Here the French knots are where there were white spots on the cloth. I just did a few randomly.

Then, I decided the satin piece I’ve been working on should have French knots. I wanted them to be fairly invisible. They are attaching the top to the background fabric I got in the Philippines.

I used tailors’ tacks on this piece from a previous post.

Pins hold this piece.
Directions for making French knots from an embroidery book.

Directions for making tailors’ tacks from a sewing book.