Skip to main content

Happy Summer and Silk Noil Test Run! :)

     Happy Summer😍🌅! 
     New York State has moved on to phase 4 and most everything is open and running with social distancing in place and masks required.  Since my job had no funds for summer programs, I’ve been able to really buckle down and make a HUGE dent in the stash.  I’ve got absolutely no problem not leaving that house, there’s so much to do here!  My love for Shibori has never faded.  I love every step in the process.  From choosing which yarns or threads to use, their fiber content, the types of dye and colors, to weaving and ripping out those supplemental weft threads.  Magic every time!


     I purchased some silk noil eons ago with the intention of weaving Shibori scarves.  This silk is very delicate and I’ve been quite hesitant in putting it on the loom.  It does very poorly on the ‘break test’.  With little to no pressure, it snaps almost immediately.  


     Since it’s super delicate, I didn’t want to count the warp ends under a lot of tension.  


     I counted out ends for only one scarf roughly 8” wide.  The sett in the reed would be around 24 epi.


     Since I wasn’t sure if I would have a lot of breakage along the way, there was a lot of stop and go.  I figured that once I had everything tensioned properly, I would really be able to test the strength of all of the threads together.  Quite nerve wracking...I just kept thinking...please don’t break, please don’t break.


     Each thread was carefully threaded through the heddles in a straight draw.  Please don’t break, please don’t break!


       Absolutely no breakage so far and the ends are then threaded through the reed ready for the tension to be set on the front beam.  Please don’t break, please don’t break!


      Header woven with barely any tension.  I’m a structure weaver so normally, I weave under very high tension.  I like a nice clean shed so, this was a bit of a change for me.  Please don’t break, please don’t break!


      Here we go! My personal standard for Shibori is a supplemental weft every four picks.  I find that the pattern shows through nicely giving just enough space in between for the dye to take to the fabric.  Please don’t break, please don’t break!


      I don’t know if you’ll be able to tell from the photograph above but, if you blur your eyes, you can get an ideas as to how the dye will take on the fabric.  This is something much easier to see in person but, this particular scarf will have a long diamond-ish pattern.  Please don’t break, please don’t break!


      So with all of this ‘please don’t break’ stuff, I’m happy to say that I only ran into one!  I used a bit of the warp at the end to test the strength of the silk under tension.  I was surprised to find that it actually fared quite well!


     So here is the repair of the break.  No biggie and I was very happy to find that I can use this yarn again for a longer run.


     Time to twist fringe...I was careful again to make sure that I didn’t have any breakage here as well. 


     Lookin good!  No breakage in the fringe twisting!


     Here’s where the magic starts to really happen!  Binding!  Pulling the supplemental weft to create a resist.  It’s important to make sure that the knots stay relatively the same tightness across each side and that the fabric doesn’t bow under the pressure of the knots.


     Tah dah!  


     Now for the soak in preparation for the dye bath.  Since this is silk, I’m going to dye it using a heat set dye in cobalt blue which was the closest that I had to indigo. 


     As I was painting on the dye, it was soaking up right away!  I really like the way the fabric took to the dye and when I use this again, I’ll be sure to concentrate the dye mixture a little more.

Here’s a sample of the final product before washing and pressing.  I’ve been using the ‘final photograph’ as the first because of the way blogger layout shows up.  
Here’s a thought about things being a mess.  Weaving sometimes gives me some serious insight to life, which is probably why I love it so very much.  Sometimes when we ‘think’ we’re a mess, it just takes a little bit of patience and light handed endurance to get the final result.  Patience and endurance🌅❤.


Popular posts from this blog

Damask....Ah Ha Moment....Now Taquete?

Ok . So since the weather has been changing, I now have some more obvious time to 'play' with some designs that I have stored in my head:) Damask, in particular, has been a favorite of mine to look at and I really feel the urge to use my loom to create tapestry like scarves and shawls. I don't want anything too heavy as I really like the feel of tencel , bamboo, and I would eventually like to switch to silk for my finer works. I am still in the learning stage though and I hope to always remain in the learning stage. The damask pattern that I have been toying with, I like but, I lose a lot of detail the more I stretched it out. I was a little frustrated but, certain that there was something that I could do. The picture above is a little small but, the piece all the way to the right is a 4 point twill threading, the middle is a 5 point twill threading, and the one on the far left is a 6 point twill threading. To get a true satin/sateen I would have to use the one on the far

A New Loom!

       I’ve been weaving on a Glimakra 8 harness countermarche loom for almost 10 years now.  I love it!  It weaves like a dream, it’s super heavy, I get an excellent shed when all is going well, and I have a bit of an emotional attachment to it.  The only thing that I don’t love about this loom is that I have to climb on the floor to tie up the treadles.  Depending on the pattern, I could be under there for quite some time.  I’m pretty limber and in pretty good shape but climbing under the loom is back breaking work.  So much so that I’m sometimes out of commission for the remainder of the day after.  Look how pretty this loom is though!       I cleaned out the area that this loom has been designating as it’s home and prepped for the replacement.  I got an amazing deal on a Louet Spring and couldn’t pass it up!        I’ve been doing a lot of research on looms (well, really when am I not looking at looms!) and know that I love Louet.  My Megado has served me well for many years and th
        You know when you make something and the entire process just seems seamless?  Well, that’s how this project played out.  I have some 10/2 tencel that is natural and I dyed a bunch of it over the summer.  I wound off bouts of around 1700 yards each and now know that I would like to make larger skeins so that I can get a couple of scarves using this pattern again...just a bit longer.       This picture was taken in natural sunlight of the braid after counting the ends on the warping board.  Let’s get this thing on the loom!                  I learned a new trick for spreading the warp in the raddle.  Since this is an A B color pattern, it’s important to not separate the colors in the raddle.  To never “separate the twins” makes beaming the warp a piece of cake!   Another cool trick I learned was to put the warp under tension while beaming.  With a stack of my son’s graphic novels, I had the full six yards beamed in seven minutes!  SEVEN!!! My absolute favorite part, threading