Poo’miikapi Textiles: Dancing Blanket & Whole Cloth Shawl Making

My goal this week is to prepare yardage for quilted blankets and whole cloth shawls to be used as teaching examples. This will include dyeing a yardage of wool to be equivalent to a Pendleton blanket. The process for dyeing wool is different than cotton because wool is a protein or animal fiber, where as cotton is cellulose or plant derived. I’m beginning with the yardage of wool, since it will have its own vat. As I write this tutorial, I’ll be making bundles to dye by the end of the week. Stay tuned!!!

Yardage Cut Size In Inches Size In Centimeters
Fat Quarter 18 x 22 in 45.7 x 55.9 cm
1 yard 36 x 44 in 91.4 x 111.8 cm

Dancing Blanket: Blanket for Eastern Woodlands Blanket Dance Using Cloth Made Sacred by Hand Dyeing with Natural Plants, Flowers or Nuts


The size in inches is approximately 50” to 60” by 65” to 75” depending on your height. In centimeters the measurements are 127 cm to 152.4 cm by 165.1 cm to 190.5 cm.


To make a whole cloth blanket with 3 layers equivalent to a Pendleton blanket that will need to be quilted. Approximate amount of fabric you will need:

  • 3 yards for top
  • 4 yards for back
  • ½ to ¾ yard for binding
  • Total Fabric to Dye = 7 ½ to 8 yards
  • Plus 4 ½ yards of batting or muslin for middle layer

Divide cloth into three pieces. Using a sharpie pen, tag pieces with Tyvek prior to dyeing. Secure tags on cloth with a rust proof safety pin.

  • 3 yards for top
  • 4 yards for back
  • ½ to ¾ yard for binding (depending on how wide you want binding)

To make improvisational pieced blanket top divide cloth into

  • 8 fat quarters = 2 yards (4 fat quarters per yard)
  • One 1-yard cut to make strips
  • One ½ to ¾ yard cut for quilt binding (depending on how wide you want binding)
  • One 4-yard cut for backing

To make a whole cloth blanket with one layer out of wool equivalent to a Pendleton blanket that will not involve quilting you will need 3 to 4 yards of white or natural colored wool. Indigo dye recipe will need to be modified to dye wool, which is a protein or animal fiber instead of cotton, which is a cellulose or plant fiber.


A whole cloth shawl for regalia is approximately 46” x 82” or 117cm x 210cm. I normally dye three yards of cloth by whatever width of the cloth. Fabric is usually 40 to 42 inches wide. A whole cloth shawl is a single piece of fabric with a rolled hem on all four sides. Fringe is usually added on three sides.

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