Thursday, 27 September 2012

Indigo Dyeing and a Padded Elephant

Yesterday I had a dyeing day here for some members of the Midlands Textile Forum. It was intended for acid dyeing but I had an indigo vat on the burner too. Both were popular and lots of things were produced. The photo showed what I produced which amounted to
  • Two pieces of silk/cotton shibori dyed. The top one was done as we did in Okinawa. Folded then flat pieces of wood used to clamp the final folded bundle. The piece below, just visible, has circles on it
  • Cotton yarn 2/12 dyed in indigo for the weft of an ikat warp already prepared and waiting for me to do something about it.
  • Various skeins of unknown slubby yarn dyed in indigo which look rather nice as the slubs have taken the dye up differently
  • two skeins of fine wool (2/28) painted with acid dyes in purple and two shades of blue for trials in a microwave oven. I now own three electrical steamers which is fine but, when I was offered a microwave oven by Rosie Price, I accepted at once and experimented with it yesterday. The answer is that 8 minutes at High for a 70 gm skein works well as you can see. There are advantages for me  in using a microwave although I would not use this for a class. The advantage for me is that it only takes 8 minutes and does a small amount. The advantage of the steamers for a large group is that I can get a large amount of material in and it takes 40 mintes to process the lot.
I had a big shock yesterday. The Midlands Textile Forum is holding an exhibition at West Bromwich, in The Public no less. Entry date is November 5th and I was proposing to enter three pieces, the Candles woven on Diversified Plain Weave, the Fireworks ditto and the triple weave cloth for Michael's enamels. It turns out that photos and details have to be submitted on October 1st. I have to add a hanging device to the Candles, paint some more on the Fireworks  and add a hanging device- and warp up for the enamels!!! Never mind weave them - and I had intended to weave a complete sample using painting on 300gsm watercolour paper instead of the enamels. All by Monday when I have Bournville tomorrow and Madi and Chris arriving for the weekend on Saturday and everyone else coming to lunch on Sunday. At least William Hall's cotton has arrived. I think I will start by asking for a stay of execution until Wednesday. Once warped up, it will not take long as it will need about 18 inches in woven length.

I made up two more cushions to replace the blue wool ones on the studio window seat. They look fine. All the blue wool ones have been shifted to the sitting room   and look good there - it is a very beige colour scheme and quiet whereas the studio is definitely loud.

I wondered about using this Burmese textile for a cushion. It is very suitable but the elephant is padded and it about 4 cms thick. I think it will get damaged if sat on. Also when I looked at the back and edges carefully, it is all backed and there are no raw edges. I think I will pin it up on the walls instead as it fits with the curtains so well. I never intended that the studio should look like this but I do like the curtains.

I have signed up for anothe year of Tied Weaves with Complex Weavers. I think I know enough about Diversified Plain Weave and shall go on to another type of tied weave. 

Off to start warping up the Megado. Three warps and two warp beams.

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.