Weaving and Over-dyeing
By Carrie Miller
This project started out as a sample warp for workshops. Many people wove it with a variety of yarns, then I finished the runner. While I loved working with these “ghost” collaborators, the finished textile was a bit disjointed. To give it a more cohesive feel, I decided to over-dye with indigo. My experiment worked! Indigo smoothes out variations in the weaving without completely hiding the warp and weft colors. White spots (formed by the binder clips) make a bold windowpane effect.
The weaving pictured here is very long (4.5 yards), so I shortened the warp length here for a smaller table. You may need to make further adjustments depending on the length you want for your finished piece.
Finished size: after washing, 2 yards long and 10.5″ wide
Warp: 13″ weaving width, 2.5 yards long
What You'll Need
650 yards of 3/2 perle cotton for warp and weft:
300 yards light blue
200 yards white
150 yards gold
Wolf Pup LT or other shaft loom with at least 13” weaving width
- pre-reduced indigo crystals
- large binder clips
- measuring cups
- gloves with long cuffs
Weaving Materials and Equipment
Dyeing Materials and Equipment
Warp the loom: I warped straight draw in 1″ stripes; I repeated stripes of white, light blue, gold, and light blue across the warp and finished with a white stripe.
Weave the base fabric. Since this was a demonstration warp, the treadles were set up for plainweave, 2/2 twill, and 3/1 twill. Plainweave and twill patterns repeat randomly throughout the weaving.
Make your indigo dye pot in a bucket, wearing gloves and using measuring cups reserved for dyeing. Let the dye pot sit for at least 2 hours. (Instructions from Dharma Trading Company can be found here.)
Prep your runner for shibori dyeing. I accordion-folded the runner from each end, leaving a section unfolded in the middle. Binder clips were the resists.
Wet out the runner in water.
- Dip the runner in the indigo dye pot. Repeat until you are pleased with the depth of color. I kept the dyed color light enough to let the blue yarn stand out from the white and gold yarn.
- Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.