Jenny Hafer - Senior, Fiber major

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Materials and Process

  • Thin 100% cotton fabric
  • Clamps
  • Wooden rectangles
  • Disperse dyes
  1. I used a method of resist dye known as clamping. I folded the fabric and clamped it with blocks of wood to resist the dye.
  2. Then I placed the fabric in a yellow-orange dye bath.
  3. I continued this process folding and clamping in a different way, then immersed it in the blue dye bath. Wherever the blue and yellow meet it creates a greenish color from the mixing.
  4. Later I went back into the pattern and created a border.

Artist's Narrative

By folding and clamping the fabric I created a horizontal and vertical mirror reflection. I enjoy this process, because there is only some control over what the pattern will look like after it is dyed. There are no crisp lines or exactness to the pattern; the dye does not hit all the areas of the fabric equally because it is resisted. The eye compensates for symmetry-breaking and the pattern appears relatively symmetrical.

The border pattern is also reflected horizontally and vertically. The same pattern appears around all four sides of the cloth. The repetition of the shapes remains consistent, but the color slightly varies between the horizontal and vertical borders. In the corners the pattern stops at a single square, then repeats on the next edge of the cloth.

Teacher's Comment

Folding of the fabric before it is dyed creates the axes of reflection; the resist-dyeing technique results in a play of color because of the selective absorption of the dyes. Resist-dyed textiles were produced in many areas of the world in which Muslims are predominant. The batik traditions of Indonesia rely on a wax-resist process; the the tie-dyes of India often were bunched or pleated and tied before being dyed. Both of these textile technologies result in patterns with symmetry and symmetry-breaking.

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