Dying the weft.
Note this is for the weft -the part that you weave back and forth across the warp on the loom- of the second scarf. (You won’t see the dyed yarn actually being used until WEAVING Part 3 in this blog!)
Measure out the correct amount of dye for the weight of your yarn (interesting note, it doesn’t matter how much water you use! Once you have the correct amount of dye for the depth of shade you intend to dye the wool, the water is just a ‘vehicle’. It more or less simply holds the dye particles in suspension so that they can travel evenly around the wool in the stock pot! So cool!)
*Note how dark the colour of the dye is in this pot.
Simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove yarn from the pot, add the citric acid, then return the yarn to the pot and stir for a few minutes.
THIS IS AMAZING! After letting the dyed yarn sit overnight and cool in its own juice, it absorbs ALL of the remaining particles of pigment that were suspended in the water. They ALL adhere themselves to the wool fibres, and the WATER IS CLEAR! Just like magic!!
Now to set up the loom!
WOW! We’re WEAVING!!
The thick white strips of fabric that you see above are put in first to separate and properly space out the yarn loaded onto the loom. The thin plum coloured thread that you see is a header that you weave into your fabric really getting started so that once you take the weaving off – some weft naturally unwinds – that will be what unwinds/loosens up, and not your weaving proper.
Note that this first half of the warp was not painted. When we painted the 2nd half (or other 50% of the warp length) we wrapped this first portion in plastic wrap to keep it untouched so that we would be able to better see the weave as we learned to use the treadles on this first scarf. I used this light blue yarn to weave my test swatch. It represents the first weaving that I have ever done on a traditional loom.
Now on to my first length of fabric. A very simple 1,2,3,4 pattern scarf.
This is me loading the yarn onto the bobbin which then fits into the shuttle to create the back and forth threading (the weft) on the loom.
Once I finished this first scarf, it was cut from the loom and the ends finished properly. Then, the scarf was submerged into a spinner’s dye pot and dyed the most wonderful shades of red and berry (dye colours were; Turkey Red, Watermelon, Raspberry, and Red).
A small amount of water is placed in the pot, just enough to barely cover the majority of the scarf – important to NOT submerge it completely – then with a syringe various dyes were added directly onto the different areas of cloth.
After that the pot is set on the stove to simmer (NOT boil, or else it will felt the scarf), this sets the dyes. Once the water simmers clear the pot is removed from the stove and the scarf is left in the water until it cools completely. The scarf is then gently washed by hand and left to hang dry.
This is what it looks like finished: