Category Archives: dyeing

New Painted Warp

 Hand Painted warp for  scarf

Hand Painted warp for scarf

A new project is on the loom and ready to begin weaving if a few minutes can be squeezed in. The scarf  warp was painted with Procion MX dyes, using 3 colors. I’m planning on using a solid red purple Tencel for the Weft. The warp is also an 8/2 Tencel. I’ll be using an 8 harness manifold twill pattern that is a change of the draft used for the green painted shawl I just finished.

I will be off to HGA Convergence conference in Providence, RI tomorrow.  With classes, exhibits, the fashion show and vendor hall, I’ll be sure to come back full of inspiration and some photos to share.

In the Works

painted silk
Warping of the painted silk  has begun. It’s ready to be sleyed and threaded. The warp was painted earlier at a dye day at the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston‘s Guild House. I wasn’t excited about the results,  so I set it aside for a few months. Now I’m ready to put my design ideas to work. I will be threading an 8 harness manifold weave.  I’m still debating weft colors so that will probably need some sampling.
imageOn the inkle loom a new tablet weaving is in the works using three colors in the warp and 16 tablets .

There is still one loom naked so I hope this next week to work on another project for it.


Finding the Time to Dye

Dyeing Handwoven Shibori

Dyeing Handwoven Shibori

I found this unpublished blog entry so I will publish it even though the finished fabric was shown in the post “Finishing Projects”. With temps reaching 86 degrees today, it was time to dye before the heat of summer is upon us. The handwoven Shibori snake was finished months ago. Since I don’t have a place to dye inside my home I need to wait for the weather to cooperate. The dyeing takes place in my backyard on the deck. I place an old plastic shower curtain on the table to protect it. The water for prepping the fabric to be dyed, was heated inside the house. Soda ash is added to the hot water as is a mild soap, then the fabric to be dyed. This is soaked for 30 minutes. The Procion MX dye is mixed outside with distilled water. I use two colors when dyeing my handwoven Shibori. One color on the top side and one on the back. The dye is applied with a stencil brush. Plastic wrap is under the piece being dyed. When I’ve finished dyeing the snake the plastic wrap is folded around it and the snake is rolled up to batch. The piece sits for 48 hours before rinsing out the dye.  Once the Shibori snake has dried the pattern threads will be pulled out.  You can see the Shibori dyed fabric on the post “Finishing Projects”.

Navajo Weavings

Navaho weavings. Stark Museum.

Navaho weavings. Stark Museum.

The exhibit “Navajo Weaving: Tradition and Trade” is a must for anyone who likes Navajo weavings. The Stark Museum in the small town of Orange, TX, hosts this exhibit.  Many of these rugs have never been seen by the general public before.


Trading Post reenactment.

The samples of dyed yarn, natural vs. analine, shows the intensity of color differences one can get with each technique. I’m not surprised that many weavers choose to go against tradition and use aniline dyed yarns.

Natural dyed Churro yarn

Natural dyed Churro yarn


Aniline dyed Churro yarn.

Finishing Projects

Handwoven Shibori yardage

Handwoven Shibori yardage

The Handwoven Shibori yardage has been pressed and is ready to be made into something wearable it has a nice drape being 8/2 Tencel. The dye penetration is not as even as I would have liked, but it does create an interesting horizontal pattern.

Honeycomb runner

Honeycomb runner

The honeycomb runner made with linen and jute to outline the cells looks lovely on the table. The jute transitions from purple, blue, light green, yellow, orange, hot pink,  then reverse back to purple.  The back has long floats. For handbags or clothing this fabric will require lining. I have some novelty silk from Habu, I would like to use in the future with this weave structure.

Honey comb  runner back

Honey comb runner back

Quilt Festival Inspiration

Illinois Album  by Jane Sassaman

Illinois Album
by Jane Sassaman

Though I haven’t done any quilting in a long time, the international Quilt Festival in Houston, TX is not to be missed. Between the Vendor Hall and the Quilt exhibits, it is difficult to see it all in one day. My legs are still tired 24 hours later while my brain is imaging all those delicious pattern and color combinations. This year I didn’t buy any fabric, but did buy a jacket pattern to use with some of my handwoven fabric in the future. Other purchases included: novelty threads to weave not sew with, Zippers for handbags, beads for weaving accents, and Dye and synthrapol from PRO Chemical and Dye. After tackling the Vendor Hall I spent time wandering the quilt displays.These are a few of my favorites.
The Peacock by Amira Wishinsky Technique: Bobbin Lace

The Peacock
by Amira Wishinsky
Technique: Bobbin Lace

Believe II by Reiko Nobata

Believe II
by Reiko Nobata

Handwoven Shibori Snake

Handwoven Shibori snakeThis project has been a long time in process (see earlier post: Handwoven Shibori on the Loom). I just finished creating the “snake.” It is 3 1/2 yards of plain weave fabric with pattern threads in a twill weave. The pattern threads which are pink have been pulled tightly. These threads were woven in after every 8 shots of plain weave weft. It took way too long to pull up these threads. The next step is to dye the piece. The dye will not be able to penetrate into the folds of fabric created when pulling the pattern threads. I’m hoping temperatures will cool off from the 90’s with high humidity that we’ve been having so I can dye this piece outdoors. The question is what colors should be used? One color dye will be applied to the front and a second to the back. For now this remains a piece in progress.

Dye Day with Warp Painting

Over the weekend I attended a Dye Day at the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston, Guild House. You bring your prepared yarns in skein form or pre-warped segments for dyeing. An assortment of stock dye colors are premixed for our use. These stock colors can than be mixed to create a wide spectrum of colors. Syringes are used to accurately measure the stock dyes into small cups. Distilled water can be added to dilute dyes for less intense colors. After mixing dye, a drop or two is put on a coffee filter to preview the color once dried. At this point a decision on whether to use as is or make additions to the color that has been premixed, must be made. To help in making decisions on colors to select for use, there were dyed yarn samples with formulas for mixing of colors. When warp painting with Sabracon F dyes, they will bleed into one another creating new colors. There is the possibility of creating muddy colored areas. My fiber of choice for this project is 20/2 silk pre-warped in one inch sections, enough for a shawl. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I painted this warp. The bright green was supposed to be a Teal like color but turned out more greeny. I’m hoping when this finally makes it to the loom it can be toned down with the weft yarn used. The other alternative is to over dye the pre-warped sections.

CHT 2013

CHT Fashion Show. My "Spring Views" scarf is being modeled.

CHT Fashion Show. My “Spring Views” scarf is being modeled.

I”m a little late with posting about the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas 2013 Conference which took place May 30- June 2. The conference is something I always look forward to. The opportunity to learn new weaving techniques, the fellowship of being around other weavers, and the chance to shop for new yarns in the vendor hall all make attending a conference special. Alas, this year my health got in the way so I was unable to attend. Two of my scarves were in the Members Exhibit, though. Both scarves are handwoven shibori. “Spring Views” is dyed with two colors of Procion dyes. “Rustic” was woven with all black threads and then bleached to create the pattern. The next conference will be in 2015 in Austin, Texas.

Handwoven Shibori on the Loom

This is Handwoven Shibori being woven on a floor loom. The weaving is fairly easy, plain weave with a pattern thread every 6 ends. The pattern threads form a fancy twill pattern. I don’t use nylon fish line for my pattern threads which will later be pulled gathering the fabric. I use a 3/2 mercerized cotton yarn that is quite strong. Nylon fish line will not break when pulled. The 3/2 could still break while pulling if  pulled too hard. If a thread breaks while pulling it will cause a horizontal band to be dyed in  the fabric. This happens since the fabric will not be gathered equally in this area. The tighter the pattern thread is pulled the crisper the dyed design will be. The 3/2 yarn

Handwoven Shibori on the Loom

Handwoven Shibori on the Loom

is much easier to handle and knot after  gathering  the fabric for dyeing. When I weave this fabric I try to think about what colors I will choose to dye with. The fabric will be used for a garment when completed.