Monday, December 10, 2012


I thought I had posted about this tapestry earlier but found that it is still in draft form.   So ...
This is the post as written a couple of weeks ago (November 26th, to be exact), I hope it still makes sense.

I had plans to twist and turn the slits and make it all join up - in a very 3D way.  Those plans are on hold for the moment because of the exhibition.  The way I planned to sew it together would make it very different from the other two small tapestries I have done, so I have taken the curator's advice and will leave it in its current state - almost.

When I hold it up, the weaving develops a slight curve.
It is very messy at the moment and will stay pretty messy.  But it was suggested that I could dye the hanging strands of warp thread to make it more interesting.  I can see that it could look very much in tune with my other work.

I decided that I wasn't that happy with how I had finished off the weaving, as I had been going to braid it.  So now I am doing the (very!!) tedious job of double half hitching using cotton, with the work off the loom.

I have been a bit concerned about how to dye the threads without having the dye getting onto the actual weaving, or wicking up the threads.  I have had several helpful messages, suggesting water colour paint, food dye (not sure if you can get black, assume so) and procion dye.
Then I went with a friend to visit Kraft Kolour and Bonnie, lovely lady, got out some cotton yarn, some black sun dye and painted the yarn there and then.  It took the dye well and didn't rub off.

I decided to try some leftover warp threads before launching into working on the actual piece and painted them with the sun dye.  I left it in the sun for a while.  It says on the bottle to heat set the dye (when using it on fabric) but when I washed it, no colour came out.  So I will be big and brave tomorrow, if the sun comes out (it is forecast to be thundery), and paint the warps.

I am hoping to cut them off later, braid the ends, and sew it up as I had originally planned, so I don't want the dye to go all the way up to the weaving.


Michelle said...

Oh wow, how complicated! Looks cool so far though!

Mary said...

Actually Michelle, it wasn't that complicated (except when I was thinking of matching the colours at the ends of each strand, to match the strand it was going to attach to - which isn't going to happen at the moment). It is just 8 warps each time and no sewing of slits!!! Then a period of solid weaving, then 8 warps at a time again. There was no cartoon per se, so I just made up the colours as I went. Very relaxing really. I will try to put better photos up when the exhibition is on, and when I have my camera functioning again - it got dropped and I am depending on my basic phone.

Vera L Hazelgrove said...

I look forward to your exhibition photo! This looks very appealing and interesting! but I can't work out how it will look in the end yet :-)

Mary said...

Thanks Vera, we are setting up tomorrow. You may be confused because I have changed how it is going to be. I had originally intended to sew the various strands to matching strands on the other side and have it all twisted and curled. But now it is just going to hang, a bit like in the top picture. I will have a go at the original idea after the exhibition, probably.