挑戦/Chōsen/Challenge

Measuring
A word that keeps coming to mind is 挑戦

(ちょせん)/chōsen, which means challenge.   I have a challenge. I’m making another tablecloth. This time for another niece who is getting married next month. I dyed the same for her sister two summers ago, so I thought I’d do the same for her. This time, though, I asked for table measurements (if the couple had a table) and suggested colors. As it turns out, the table is 96 inches long. So the cloth I am dyeing is over 3 yards long and 58 inches wide. The plan is to work in shibori and western fabric widths are much wider than those in Japan. It really complicates things. There are also other complications.

I wanted to make sure I had a decent “drop” around the edges of the table, hence the width.  That was one of the factors for choosing the fabric, which is a cotton and hemp blend. It will make a good sturdy cloth, but it’s heavy and I can’t easily accomplish what I had planned originally: stitched shibori. So, at this point, I’m thinking the method will be Itajime.

This morning, I did a simulation just to see the potential size and thickness of the folds. I may need to buy thicker wood blocks for the clamps; I’m not sure about that yet. What I have realized is that it’s going to take some experimentation before I get to that part.

Bucket
Since I’ve also determined that the pattern will be put in by discharge, I’m starting by simply dyeing the fabric. So, right now, it’s sitting in a bucket of dye in my garage.

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