Post #3255: Summer Textile School Weeks 5 and 6


Summer Textile School is fully in swing! I’m glad my dye studio is outdoors so that during the hot, hot heat I was able to keep dyeing without warming up the house. I’ve come to realize that before I can seriously dye some yardage or larger skeins of yarn I’m going to have to come to the end of this experimental phase – but I’m enjoying it so much! I have some more yarn to turn into small skeins and then once that is done I’ll have to cut myself off and get on with the yardage dyeing.

Dyeing activities

Water

  • I’ve switched over to using the big cistern on our property which has way cleaner water than our rain barrels. I needed to get a hose, which is why I wasn’t using it before – but so glad I am now as its closer to my studio and way less hauling.

Dye space and materials

  • Bought a couple more pots at the local recycling centre this week – one smaller one for cooking smaller dyestuff down (cochineal I’m looking at you), and another mid-sized pot for dyeing in. 
  • I’m starting to run low on some of the dyes I’ve been using, trying to figure out whether it’s worth investing in extracts over whole dyes. It’s nothing I have to decide right now, but in the case of Madder which is hard to wash out in its ground form, I might just go for it.  
  • Did some more yarn prep with Oxalic Acid – though I forgot to scour. I’ll be curious to see how those turn out.

Learning

  • I have worked my way through my dye plans for yellows and browns as well as reds. Not all the reds are completely done (one is in the rinse pot, another in the dye pot), and I will be doing some more dye experimenting with madder and brazilwood to get different shades for my gamp project. 
  • I’ve learned that getting a true red is difficult and there are a lot of variations depending on water ph. I’ve ended up with more pink/purples than reds.
  • While not always true I note that fibre mordanted with oxalic acid often produces a lighter/less intense colour than the alum mordanted fibre. This is great for my gamp project as it is providing me with variation in a single dyepot.
  • I’ve also been experimenting with using dye exhaust and then throwing another colour in. For example, I added Osage orange my Brazilwood exhaust to get an orange colour, and Madder to the Cochineal exhaust for more reds. This allows my materials and water to do double duty.
Lac. Alum on the left, Oxalic Acid on the right.
Brazilwood. Oxalic acid mordant bottom/Alum at top.

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Brazilwood exhaust with Osage orange. Oxalic acid bottom/Alum up top.

Weaving activities

  • Finished the weaving of the Asymmetry sample from the Jane Stafford Guild (sample #1 from season 2). In that project I learned about cutting and replacing warp sections, balancing cloth with different materials, and making colourway choices. Hemming those now.
  • Watching Season 2, Episode 3 of JST Guild materials and working through exercises
  • Created warp chains for Sample #2/Season 2 of the JST Guild projects. This has so far involved learning how to build a warp chain with five threads at once (much more complicated than I thought it would be).  
  • Worked on towel design draft for beach/sauna towels. Next up will be sampling. 
Asymmetry – samples on top and one still on the loom.

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