The Bomaki Three Conversation

Silver sage bomaki shibori scarf
Each time I create a bomaki shibori scarf, it is different from the previous ones. The differences are seemingly subtle but important. This blog is a conversation about it. Recently, I designed 3 bomaki style scarves, and found that the size pipe used needs to be 1/3 larger in diameter than the scarf is in width, so that the scarf won't touch itself when fitted around the pipe. Fold the flap down and start baste stitching the edges of the scarf. When you reach the end and hold it up, the scarf has made a bias tube. The way you arrange it on the pipe makes a huge difference in how it turns out. I made a very loose bias tube and scrunched it on a 6" diameter pipe, and dyed it three times. I left the scarf in the third dye bath overnight and got both sharp and diffuse coverage with this result:
bias tube scrunched on pipe and dyed blue
When I made a tight bias tube, the lines came out very sharp and there were large areas of white resist. It looked like white with streaks of color on it. Since there was so much white, I ended up dying it three times before I felt it was a finished piece. The tube on the left is the tight bias tube. The tube on the right side is the snug but not tight one. Interesting to note that these two scarves were the same size, but put on different size poles to get the different effects.
Bomaki bias tubes pipe wrapped
Bias tube view
Bias tube end flap
                  Here is the resulting turquoise grape scarf:
Turk grape bomaki shibori scarf
arashi shibori detail
another fabric view
With the the remaining scarf, I made a bias tube that was snug, but not as tight as the previous one. The silk was easily scrunched on the tube, and I used three dye colors. The whole process was done in one step, and there was no white resist. The patterns are there, with softer lines that seem to ebb and flow in a diffuse meander.
                  Here is the resulting cherry mango scarf:
Cherry Mango bomaki shibori scarf
fabric view
bomaki pattern view
It is also interesting to note that different size tubes were used, as dictated by the fabric width in the case of the silver sage bomaki scarf. I love the drape of the wider fabric, as in the first silver blue example. All in all, stunning results can be obtained with energy and effort. Give lots of thought to colors and color blending if attempting this process. Many surprises are to be the expected, and resulting scarves cannot be strictly controlled!
(Originally published 26 August, 2014)  Edited 15 August, 2023
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