I recently taught a class in Richmond, VA about making thread from wisteria and kudzu fibers. Here are some photos of my preparations. Wisteria bark fiber and hardwood ash.
This green hand spun and hand woven furoshiki or carrying cloth was dyed with indigo and then over dyed with a yellow dye to produce a deep green color. Time and use have given this furoshiki a beautiful gradation of colors and a random ware pattern.
A wisteria kamon or crest has been applied to the furoshiki using a stencil. Rice paste was pushed through a stencil and allowed to dry before the fabric was dyed. After dying was completed the rice paste was washed off to reveal the design. This piece probably dates to the first half of the 20th century.
This antique paper covered basket holds some of the yarns I have been making over the past few months. The basket itself is really special. It has been covered with a layer of hand spun cloth and then encased in multiple layers of paper taken from daifukucho or shopkeepers ledgers. some of this paper has been treated with persimmon tannin which turned the paper dark red/brown and made the basket waterproof. I think the basket is probably from the early Meiji period.
Here are some wisteria or fuji yarns. The blue has been dyed with indigo.
I dyed this fuji yarn with indigo that was past its prime. It has a gray quality I really like.
This paper yarn or shifu I made from part of a roll of washi paper I found. I cut the paper into a long narrow strip and then spun it using an Ashford spinning wheel. the thread is really strong and has a lot of elasticity. I would like to try dying shifu in the future but it seems like the nature of paper and water might cause problems.
This is yarn I made from scrap cloth cut into strips and spun. some of the cloth has been dyed with indigo.