Monday, May 09, 2005


I spent a few days last week in San Diego, with members of the Creative Weavers Guild, and Palomar Weavers. We made dye samples for a sample book, and also painted some warps, skeins, and fiber. This is one of the most useful classes, in my opinion, because everyone goes home with a series of samples, formulas, and a few examples of dyed fiber. Last week, we did about 600 samples, here is a photo of a few from the first day:


At the end of the class, one of the most frequent questions I get is on setting up the warps, after they are dyed. So herewith a brief photo gallery of the process I use. Caveat: It's only the process I use. It's not the only way, perhaps not even the best way, but it is what I do.

dyed warps2

These are the warps I painted in this post. I'm very happy with the colors on these warps: some of the dye stock was up to two years old, some was from last Fall and the gold was mixed that day. As you can see, there was still plenty of color, despite my thrifty tendency to save dyestock perhaps too long.

I took two of these warps, and added three more warps of solid color cotton yarns, from 2000 ypp to 3000 ypp. I will sett these yarns at 20 epi. The 2 painted warps totaled 204 ends, so I needed another 156 ends for the width I wanted: 18" (360 ends total). I ran 3 small warps to accomplish this: some copper and gold outline stripes, and some reds.


I slip the warps on the lease sticks, in the order I intend to thread them. I may invest in some Angel Wings, which I saw on Verna's and Charleen's blogs, but for now, you can see I tie the lease sticks to the front beam.

I run the warps through the reed, from right to left, beginning with the rightmost warp:


I continue with each warp, threading it across as needed:


Until all the warps are threaded:


This is the view from the back of the loom, as I sit and thread the heddles:


Next, I tie onto the back apron bar, and wind the warp onto the back beam:


I use corrugated cardboard for a warp separator. This is cut to the size of my back beam, and winds on as I go. This roll is about 15 years old, it just does not wear out. Here it is, all wound on. This 8 yard warp took 20 minutes to wind on.


Here, the warp is tied on to the front apron bar, ready to weave a header, to spread the warps. You can see the cone of 10/2 unmercerized cotton which will be the weft:

tying on

I've woven a few shots here:


That's it. Plain weave, sett at 20 epi, cotton, painted warp. It may be curtains for our bedroom, or handtowels (or both). Now, I just have to weave it off!


Blogger Spinweave said...

How do you keep your warp from tangling as you wind on? My chains always seem to get tangled especially if I'm using multiple colors.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

Sorry for my complete ignorance of dying and weaving. So, you can save mixed dyes for later uses? (Or is "dyestock" the to-be-dyed fiber?) Is there a benefit to doing so?

I loved reading about the process of arranging your loom. Thanks!

5:50 PM  
Blogger claudia said...

I used up the gold dyestock from almost two years ago in dyeing Sil's yarn and it was fine.

Lots of orangey goodness here in Mass. too.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I LOVE those Angel Wings! I may have to invest in some of those myself with my next class check! Thanks for the link to that site! Your photos for warping were very helpful. It's pretty much the same thing I do, but it's so helpful to see another person's methods. Thank you.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Deanna said...

Wazzup? I've gotten great feedback from the San Diego workshop participants. I got all my samples put up into a notebook, and what a joy it is to behold. My painted warp is rinsed and dry and, lo and behold, exactly the colors I was shooting for. Thanks for a marvelous experience!

9:47 AM  

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