Dyeing Under Duress
Dyeing warps falls into the same category for me as putting Christmas lights on the tree: I usually like the results, but I look forward to it with dread.
So I dye warps rarely. Usually at the annual guild Fall Dye Workshop. The latest was this fall under the supervision of Mary Kircher who is very kind and understanding.
I chose to dye a 20/2 silk warp which was divided into 2 chains - one large chain of 240 ends and a small chains of 68 ends. I dyed them both with only 2 colors - a teal and a rich brown. I tried to dye them so that the teal sections in the large chain would line up with the brown areas in the small chain and vice versa when the warps went on the loom. I wound a tiny chain of 24 ends of chartreuse silk to separate the stripes of the 2 chains from each other.
The draft is shown below. The gray ends represent the larger dyed chain, the black ends represent the smaller dyed chain, and the green ends represent the chartreuse silk. Click on the pictures to zoom in.
I sett the warp at 36 epi so it was quite warp prominent. I wove the scarf with a deep teal 20/2 silk weft (deeper than the teal in the warp) and it wove up at about 24-26 ppi..
I have to confess that I hated this scarf until after it was washed and ironed. It looked drab. It was stiff. And I did not like the pattern either. One it was washed and dried and pressed (I pressed it while it was still damp), it softened beautifully, the ironing brought out the sheen, and instead of looking drab it just looked soft. I like it a lot now.
The second warp I dyed was actually left over from last year. It was 208 ends of Cascade silk. This is a much heavier silk (2000 yds/lb - about the size of 3/2 cotton). I used 2 colors: Basic red and Turquoise. I painted one end of the warp with the red, the other end with the turquoise and mixed the 2 colors together to paint the middle of the warp. Nothing fancy.
When I wove the scarf, I kept it simple too. I set the warp pretty close - 22 epi. I wove it with a very fine deep purple 30/2 silk weft.and wove the scarf in plain weave at about 15 ppi. I made twisted fringe (2 ends + 2 ends in each bout) across each end of the scarf and knotted them at 6". Washed in the machine on gentle. Dried until damp and pressed with a hot iron until dry. Done.
1/7/2015 10:39:23 am
I think you underestimate yourself with dye- just let outflow... That's why they invented aprons, smocks and rubber gloves! Really, bothe scarves are successes, I can wait to see them up close. Brava!
1/7/2015 11:06:46 am
1/23/2015 01:38:45 am
I have seen them up close and they are beautiful!!! And you were right next to me at the Dye Workshop and there were a lot more bad words coming from my table than yours. AND my yarn is just gathering dust. Hopefully I will get to it before next year's workshop.
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I have been happily weaving since my son was born in 1988.