Over-dyed Woven Runner

In this project, I over-dyed a handwoven runner with indigo. I loved seeing the interaction of weave pattern and dye work.

Weaving & Over-dyeing

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.

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.

Weaving Materials

650 yards of 3/2 perle cotton:

  • 300 yards light blue
  • 200 yards white
  • 150 yards gold


  • Wolf Pup LT or other floor loom
  • Boat Shuttle
  • 4″ plastic bobbins

Weaving Details

Sett: 20 epi.

Warp: 13″ weaving width, 2.5 yards long.

Threading: straight draw, warped in 1″ stripes; I repeated stripes of white, light blue, gold, and light blue across the warp and finished with a white stripe.

Weave structure: 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.

Finished size: after washing, 2 yards long and 10.5″ wide.

Dyeing Materials

  • pre-reduced indigo crystals
  • bucket
  • large binder clips
  • measuring cups
  • gloves with long cuffs

Dyeing Process

  1. Make your indigo dye pot, 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)
  2. 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.
  3. Wet out the runner in water.
  4. 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.
  5. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.

And finally…

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.

Carrie Miller

Carrie is the Marketing and Education Coordinator at Schacht Spindle Company. She received her MFA in Fibers from Colorado State University and currently teaches textiles at the Sunflower Art Studio. She has enjoyed opportunities to teach at universities in northern Colorado, as a guest in public schools and at the Colorado Art Educators Association. Carrie is first and foremost, a mom to her 6-year-old daughter, Luva.