Monday, April 25, 2005

Back to Something Simple

I painted some warps this morning, perhaps for towels (usually gifts) or curtains (our bedroom is hurting).

It's so nice to get back to a simple process that I know how to do! Yesterday, I ran 4 warps of cottons and cotton/rayon blends. They are about 8 yards long, no idea just how many threads. I use a paddle, and just run a batch of warps to dye, then count threads and add warps to get the necessary number once the yarns are dry (and I've decided what to make). There were 6 different threads in these: at least 2 5/2 mercerized, an 8/2 unmercerized, and a cotton/rayon novelty. That leaves 2 yarns, I know, but I forgot what they were: something in the 2000 to 3000 ypp range and cotton.

I washed the warps overnight in hot water and detergent in a bucket. I changed the water once (the first wash water can get really funky: mill oils I think). This morning I dumped out the wash water and re-filled the bucket with a soda ash solution, and soaked the warps. (Soda ash solution is approx. 1/3 cup of soda ash to each gallon of water.) There's no need to rinse the warps, detergent does not impede the dye, and may act as a sort of lubricant, to help the dye migrate.

While the warps soaked, I prepared the dyes: I use Cibacron F fiber reactive dyes from ProChem. Several of the colors were already in dyestock solutions (of either 1% or 2%) but I needed a gold. I mixed 1/2 yellow and 1/2 gold dye powders to a 1% solution (in this case 8 grams of dye to 800 ml of water).

I stretched out a sheet of plastic wrap and arranged the warp to be painted:

warps ready to paint2

The cups hold the dye colors, which will be applied with the 1" stencil brushes you can see in the photo. The 4 warps will all have a combination of the same five colors: orange, gold, rust, cardinal and scarlet:

warps painted2

The painted yarns were wrapped into little packages, and set out to batch in the sun

warps batching

Today should be 70ºF, and sunny, so I'll leave them outside until this evening. Then I'll finish them off inside: they need to stay warm, above 70ºF is best, and wrapped for about 48 hours.


Blogger Charleen said...

I'm happy to hear that you wind warps with no specific project in mind. I was thinking about painting some warps, but didn't get around to laying my pattern out and figuring how many threads I need.

1:26 PM  
Blogger June said...

Sara, what brand of stencil brushes do you use? I bought some generic ones (made in China) from an art store and was very disappointed by the amount of bristles that shed out of it.

1:46 PM  
Blogger claudia said...

How exceedingly lovely. No bugs here.


7:38 PM  
Blogger Maus said...

Wow, gorgeous! Thanks for sharing all the pictures, as you probably saw from the weaving list I am so interested in dying warps (and I'm afraid that I am going on people's nerves with that).
Great pics!
How daring just to wind and paint :) Love it!

6:19 AM  
Blogger dragon knitter said...

i don't weave (yet) but i love seeing what you do. it's so lovely. i did notice that you let your warp sit in a hotel pan! did you buy it for that purpose, or did it just work (an old foodservice worker here, lol)

8:47 PM  

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