Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vanilla Cream

Handwoven cellulose fabrics Another morning of fulfillment, as I laundered these just-off-the-loom cellulose fabrics. The warp for this batch is 10/2 cotton/tencel and each piece measures 22" in width. From the top down, they are:
  • cotton flake weft, 34" in length
  • cotton/tencel weft, 54" in length
  • linen weft, 66" in length
  • cotton/rayon weft, 82" in length
  • organic cotton weft, 66" in length

I always used to hand launder my handwovens but since I've been weaving plain fabric, I've been machine laundering -- wash AND dry -- and the resulting cloth is something else entirely from what I was getting before. These pieces are soft and drapey, wonderful to touch, very sensual overall. I'm hooked, now, on machine laundering.

The first one of these I plan to finish off is the third from the top, that piece I wove with random pickup shibori wefts. I know what I want to do and plan to have it complete within the next week.

Today is a dyeing day -- fabrics and scarves to be overprinted on tomorrow or this weekend. So more, later.


Meg in Nelson said...

I'm intrigued, now that I've committed to dabbling with dyes, you weave-wash-dye-wash, is that right?

Connie Rose said...

Right, Meg. You have to start with a freshly laundered piece of cloth, whether commercial or handwoven. The idea is to get the fabric to the best condition to take up the dyes, meaning anything that has been put into the fabric or the yarn needs to be washed clean out. Then do whatever you're going to do to it.

The piece I'll work with ASAP will be soda ash soaked before I dye it, then I'll dye-steam-rinse-machine wash & dry, and then I'll discharge it, then steam-rinse-wash & dry again. Yeah, it takes a lot of water and power. But it's worth it!

Leigh said...

I have to admit that my experience was similar to yours. I was really nervous with the idea of machine wash and dry for my handwovens; until I tried it. I shouldn't have been so surprised that both the yarns and the weaving were so sturdy. I agree with you, it's the only way to go.