Mystery Weaves

Bringing ideas to life through weaving
My passion is for weaving, bringing ideas to life, whether wearables or functional items for the home.
A few years ago, wanting to explore a new area of weaving, I chose woven shibori and indigo dyeing.  Inspired by Japanese textiles including their traditions of shibori and boro, the work of Catherine Ellis, author of “Woven Shibori,” and the indigo dyeing of Glennis Dolce – Shibori Girl.    
I began weaving scarves and cowls in the woven shibori technique, each one-of-a-kind.  For warps I use Swedish 16/2 Bockens cotton for the plain weave, and rug warp or seine twine for the pattern threads.  After each piece is off the loom, the pattern threads are tightly gathered and tied, creating the resist.  Each is individually dyed with indigo, air-dries, then the pattern threads/knots are carefully cut and removed.  The cloth is then opened to expose the design, followed by handwashing and rinsing, air-dry again, pressed, and fringe is hand-twisted or seams sewn.  
I love the mystery of this technique, of not knowing exactly how each piece will look when completed.  Exploring the possibilities keeps me coming back for more.  Several ideas are explored on each warp using the many design choices available before and during the creative process.  Weave structure, treadling, the number of plain weave rows between pattern rows, weaving an overall design or combining areas of pattern and plain weave, design borders, hand-stitching designs, depth of dye color, and more, are all options.  
Years ago I had seen a photo of a room screen in an old weaving book, and the thought of making one stayed with me.  I suggested a collaborative work between myself and Charlene Zindel, my daughter-in-law, who is a woodworker.  The result was a three panel room screen, with Char designing and making the adjustable wood frame, I wove the three panels.  We are just starting to discuss possibilities for a new screen.
2018 is a new year for exploring many more ideas including weaving this technique on a drawloom, weaving warp emphasis design, and trying my hand at garments.  I am also looking forward to returning to my interest in Scandinavian weaving.  
My love of weaving and looms began in 1979 at my first visit to The Looms in Mineral Point, WI.  Two years later I took my first weaving class from Ken Colwell, and the year after I purchased my first Glimakra countermarche loom, which I still weave on today.  I have added more  Glimakra looms including a single unit drawloom, a Regina tapestry/rug loom, band loom, and others.  Spinning wheels and a 1908 Gearhart circular sock knitting machine round out the studio space.
Janice Zindel is a Wisconsin weaver and fiber artist.  More about Janice may be found at


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