Wednesday, April 16, 2008


This Japanese technique for weaving weft kasuri (ikat) enables very complex designs to be dyed and woven into the warp . The principle is a simple one that at first glance my seem complicated. It involves a seed thread (tane ito) or mother thread. This seed thread will be the one that will enable the weft to be woven into a design.

To make the seed thread, weave enough of the chosen weft thread to make one repeat of the pattern.

Draw a line down both selvedges in marker or ink. Then unweave the thread and roll it into a ball.

This is the drawing for e-kasuri.

Slip and tape the drawing inside a frame that has nails on either side. With the thread that has been unwoven from the loom go back and forth around the nails. Leave a few inches of thread at the beginning and end for adjusting the threads.

Trace the design onto the threads with a black marker or ink. Undo the threads from the frame by rolling it into a ball. This is the seed thread.

Examples of marked seed threads prior to weaving.

A stencil can also be used to mark the weft repeat.

The seed thread is stretched out or put on a warping reel. Then the weft thread is wound or placed alongside the seed thread, one thread for every repeat of the pattern. The resist ties will be wherever a dot or dash is marked on the weft thread.

Tying the resist threads where the
marks are.

*For tying instructions see the blog entry for Saturday, February 02, 2008

The weft marked and tied ready to be
dyed. After the thread is dyed the resists are untied, put on bobbins and ready to be woven.

This is the final result. The warp has been prepared with both blue and white warp threads. The weft pattern is broken in the center with plain white threads.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Indigo dyed Ikat from Equador

Mayan rebozo (shawl)