Thursday, January 07, 2010

Hand-dyed Warp

Hand-dyed 8/2 unmercerized cotton warp, dyed with random combinations and dilutions of Procion MX (when I ran low on a particular color, I added more water) of orange, lavender, pink, and yellow.


Threaded for a twill pattern, but set at 18 ends (or warp threads) to the inch, the fabric was flabby. I switched to plain weave and after several tests at the beginning of the warp, I settled on Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread in Copper Mist from the local Hobby Lobby as the weft. The color is a warm blush-brown color, and it highlights the painted warp without dominating it. The weight of the thread seems to be somewhere between a 10/2 and a 3/2 mercerized cotton.

What I've learned so far from this project:
  • tie any restraining yarns (used to keep the warp in order while dyeing or putting it onto the loom) very, very loosely. Above, you can see the white spots where the ties formed a resist. In some cases, a design feature, but here, not so intentional.

  • sample, sample, sample. If I'd done a test, I would have known to set the warp much closer, and then could have gone with the twill pattern I was planning. My mantra for this year is going to be PROCESS (versus product).

  • there must be a way to get those lovely narrow handpainted warp stripes that I see in lots of beautiful pictures of scarves and shawls on the Web, but so far, I can't seem to find any information other than pictures of people dyeing their warp and then the finished product. I'd like to find something that gives help with weave structures that work best with handpainted warps, and how long to make a color repeat, and whether to make several narrow warps - or - one wider warp that you then split into smaller groups as you warp the loom.

(Note: An earlier version of this post was captured by the scrolling meanies of the Internet; that version is now deleted, if you've been pointed to it.)

No comments: