Presenter: Lynda E. Collins
Advisor(s): Susan Brandeis
Author(s): Lynda E. Collins
Graduate Program: Industrial Design

Title: Woven shibori and whole garment weaving

Abstract: I have researched the traditionally hand technique of woven shibori (as developed by Catharine Ellis) combined with whole garment weaving (as researched by Alan Donaldson) to explore the potential to change the way we think about garment design.  The goal was to be able to pull finished garments from the loom without stitched construction.  The challenge was to find ways to shape the garment without darts and seams.  Woven shibori, the process of weaving strong pull cords into a fabric which are gathered during dying and finishing, allows for significant shaping in the weave structure.  After successfully developing weave structures that proved woven shibori is feasible in an industrial setting, I became interested in the unexpected interactions of different weft yarns on the shaping of woven shibori patterns.  By holding the weave structure constant and varying the warp and weft materials in predetermined ratios, I developed a visual and tactile understanding of the interactions of yarn types to woven shibori shapes and textures.  Of the materials that were tested, fabrics with a warp of merino wool and a weft of elastomeric polyester yield crisply defined textural patterns while maintaining a highly elastic quality after finishing with steam.  Fabrics with a warp and weft of merino wool yield dimensionally stable fabrics while maintaining a soft texture when finished to maximize felting.  Further research proved that crisp lines in a fabric are best achieved by varying shibori lines, not the weft materials.  In addition, soft, but substantial shapes can be pulled perpendicular to the fabric plain.  Such shaping can be used to replace darts in such applications as bust and hip lines.