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Thursday, September 18, 2008

What I wove with the silk I dyed

I don't think I ever got round to showing you this scarf. I wove it with the results of my dyeing course that I went on in the summer.

It is a silk noil warp and weft. The warp was placed in a gutter and dabbed with different colours, which were very dark when I applied them but finished up very pale, which surprised me. The weft is all green.

I wove it in a twill chequerboard pattern on eight shafts which alternately shows either predominantly warp or weft threads. It is sett at 36 ends per inch and the weft is packed down the same amount. It was pretty awful to weave towards the end because the threads were all so close together and they kept breaking. I felt like I was really hobbling to the finish line, or, say, with only one wheel left on my wagon.

When it came off the loom the fabric was very rigid and inflexible but when it had been washed and ironed it became quite supple and has a linen-like feel to it which I like.

Next time I shall make the sett quite a bit looser. I have wound the warp and the weft skeins and they are ready to be prepared for dyeing and then dyed. I think I need to do some more one gram colour sampling first though as I am not sure about how the colours of the dyes I have will turn out. One day I plan to buy a kilo of good spun silk, but that will be when I am a bit more practised at dyeing. I notice Gaddams has undergone some sort of change of businesss arrangements, and it is from them I would buy my silk so I hope they will wait for me!

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  • At 19 September, 2008 14:49, Blogger Peg in South Carolina said…

    Lovely! Silk requires a very close sett. That is the nature of the beast. And it will come off the loom feeling like cardboard. Soak it in very hot soapy water for an hour, rinse, let it dry a bit, and then press HARD HARD HARD on a wooden board. This softens it up beautifully and brings up the shine.I generally go over my silk scarves four times with the iron, twice on each side. My arm is very very tired when I am done.....(Grin!) By the way, for those who don't know about gutter dying, you might want to make sure that they understand you didn't go outside and use your rain gutters.........


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