Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More of the painted warp......

Still having a blogger issue with uploading pictures - this is a totally different problem blogger was having back in January - not sure why it affects some and not others. So, I'm doing the same as yesterday - start my post with text, publish, then edit it and add the pictures - seems to work but a pain.
So, here is scarf #3 using a fuschia weft. All 3 scarves are now soaking in the sink to wash. I don't usually dye pastel warps, not sure if I will again or not.

Acorn to Oak asked me about my painted warp. I did dye it myself using Procion Fiber Reactive Dyes. What I do is wind my warp as usual, put ties in the ends, tie the cross (really important) and put ties every yard or so but the ties in the cross and every yard not too tight to impede the dye. I soak it in a solution of soda ash. Then I lay it out on plastic wrap (I buy the huge wide rolls from Costco for all my dyeing) and start applying the dyes using sponges. The dye has been mixed with urea water. Then I wipe off any excess dye, cover it with the plastic, roll it up and put it in a ziploc bag to batch overnight. The next day I rinse out the excess dye (being fiber reactive dye it doesn't exhaust like acid dyes on wool) and hang it to dry. Here are some other examples.
Here's a very subtle dyeing job - I loved the scarves off this warp and should have kept one for myself instead of selling them all.
These two (above & below) are how I often dye my painted warps - I have sections that I tie off separately so they can be moved anywhere when I'm warping the loom - this one above had 3 sections I painted one way, 2 another way. I do bundle the small sections together if I want to make sure they're dyed exactly the same.
A hint for anyone painting warps - be sure to add extra threads that you will leave hanging off the back of the loom as you weave - that way if a thread breaks you have one to replace it with that matches right up the dyed areas. I'll add an extra 2 threads in each section - or if allover like the dragonflies I added an extra 8 threads. If I didn't do this I know a thread would break - this is my insurance.

On wool - I have painted wool warps too - in that case I use acid dyes, steam them, rinse and hang to dry - a one day process rather than two.

Not sure how many painted warps I've woven, too many to count or remember. I usually wind a bunch of warps and paint them all in one day. And I try to get a bunch dyed to have for weaving during the winter since it's easier for me to do my dyeing outdoors in warm weather. I've got 6 more painted warps waiting in the wings to be woven.

If anyone has any questions don't hesitate to contact me - I'm more than happy to answer them. I'm not a total expert in the process but I have painted lots of warps and taught classes in it.


  1. Thanks for walking us through your dyeing process! Lovely results and it looks like a fun thing to try. What's your favorite yarn to dye?

    1. Judy, on my favorite yarns to dye - I love tencel most of all because of the way it takes the dye and the beautiful sheen it has woven. But I also regularly dye rayon, bamboo, silk and cotton. Bamboo doesn't take the dye quite as well, colors are a bit lighter than I would like but I haven't figured out how to get the deep colors on it even increasing my percentage of dye. If anyone else out there has more knowledge on getting deep colors on bamboo I'd love to hear about it.


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