Saturday, January 23, 2010

Devore Sample

Here's the devore sample from the scarf warp from the previous post. I played with the color in my editing program so the burnout area would show well, there really isn't this much contrast, it's much more subtle but for photography purposes I needed the contrast. The sample turned out perfectly although I still question what happens to the rayon edges of the burn out area with use. One of my questions for Anne Fields from whom I took a seminar from at the ANWG conference last May. Her book was to be out this past fall but now not until April or May - I've got my copy pre-ordered on Amazon for as soon as it comes in.

The process is to burn out any cellulose fibers using Fiber Etch (Dharma Trading Co). There are recipes to make your own burnout solution, it's easier for me to buy it already made. Animal/protein fibers will not burn out. This sample is woven in merino wool and rayon.

Sett is determined by what is needed for a nice hand without being too sleazy after the burnout in the merino area (natural color). I was concerned about drape in the body of the scarf where the merino is joined by the rayon so I sett it just a tiny bit looser and it turned out just fine. So my total is 24 epi, in the burnout areas the wool is 12 epi.

Using plain weave is best, floats from other weave structures such as twill wouldn't work as well in the edge areas of the burnout. I wound the wool & rayon together on the warping board, then when it came to threading the heddles I put wool in harnesses 1 & 2, rayon in harnesses 3 & 4 - it was woven in plain weave, raising 1 & 3 together, then 2 & 4 together. The weft was the wool & rayon wound together on the bobbin (hint later) with ppi at 12.

After weaving I washed and let dry the sample to remove any spinning oils or dirt.

I made a quick stencil from freezer paper which works great because you can iron it onto fabric, shiney side down, and it will temporarily stick to the fabric.

I applied Fiber Etch with a stiff paint/craft brush working from the edges of the stencil in as to not let any seep under the stencil/freezer paper. It must be saturated very well. I turned the fabric over to touch up any areas on the backside that hadn't gotten saturated.

The fabric needs to dry completely, overnight is ok but best not to leave the Fiber Etch on any longer than necessary so I helped it along with a blow dryer.

Once dry, I laid the fabric down on a few pages of newspaper covered with a paper towel. Put a piece of aluminum foil on top of the fabric and iron, moving the iron constantly, using a setting appropriate for the fiber but NO steam. The burnout area will start to turn brown. When it starts to flake off if you rub it with your finger it's done. The Fiber Etch is nasty stuff - I worked in the garage with the door open wearing a mask and gloves, am thinking I need to find a respirator. All those little flakes & fumes are very nasty, you don't want to inhale them.

After all the burnout is done, wash the fabric out and let dry. The burnout areas are transparent.

I'm not sure what design will end up on the scarf, will think about that later. In the meantime I'm putting on another warp of wool with bamboo. I'm a little concerned about this wool, it's very thin and fragile, hopefully I won't have any problems with breakage in the weaving process. I'll try as many fiber combinations as I can for the guild program although I probably won't have nearly the amount of samples/finished pieces as usual just because I want to limit my exposure to the Fiber Etch.

Hint: when winding 2 or more yarns together on a bobbin sometimes one strand will be a bit looser than the other leading to problems on the edges while weaving. You can use a doubling stand, if you have one, or just use whatever you have, what I did. For an example: place one cone on the floor, put a chair with a slotted seat over it, put the other cone on the chair seat, pull the bottom yarn up through the center of the top cone and then wind them together on to the bobbin - the slight amount of twist keeps the two at the same length. I was hoping my kumihimo stand would work for this but the legs are too close together to get a cone on the bottom under the hole so I just used a little wooden box I have.

Phew........long post.................


  1. My first reaction upon seeing the pictures was "Oh, it's like magic." That is pretty cool....although I'm not wild about working with chemicals or wet, messy processes.

    Good to hear the details of how you prepared the scarf. Thanks for sharing so much info!


  2. That is a very interesting post! I am a new weaver and love to learn new anything....
    Thank you for this..


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