Chenille Plan

There is A Plan, based on lessons from the sampler and input from weaving friends virtual and physical.

Sue‘s comment led me to Eva Stossel’s blog and this post. While I agree with Leigh that the texture looks interesting, weaving-teacher Liz cautioned that those nice plump worms can lose their pile over time and become scrawny, bare core yarns.   I think Geodyne’s  recent post could hold the answer to my dyeing concerns.

So, The Plan.

Sett: closer than one expects. Based on my samples, 15 epi in plain weave looks promising for controlling the twist, avoiding worms and still acceptable drape for a scarf.

Colour: Dye after weaving, trying out woven shibori (did you notice Catherine Ellis’s book in Geodyne’s enticing pile?).

The photo shows the relevant piece of the chenille sampler, plus a page of discharge samples I did a few years ago. Discharge removes dye from a fabric. My sample page shows pieces left 1, 2, 3, 4 and 10 minutes immersed in the discharge solution (thiourea dioxide).

Threading: Monk’s belt,  experimenting with pattern float lengths of 6, 12 and 24 threads and a range of spacing of picks of chenille between each of the floating, supplemental weft picks.

The Plan is to weave the chenille,  dye the woven piece a solid brown, then draw up the supplemental weft threads and discharge.

We shall see… Reality has a tendency to mock mere mortal’s plans. So far I have added lots more heddles to my ashford loom and am partway through warping.

6 Responses to “Chenille Plan”

  1. 1 Geodyne December 5, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Do you know, I was half-way down your post before I figured out what I’d managed to do that was of help!

    What a great idea. I think it has the potential to look fabulous.

    In the meantime, I still haven’t gathered the courage to weave with that chenille I have.

  2. 2 Life Looms Large December 5, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Glad you have a plan!! And glad you found Eva’s blog. She does beautiful work!

    I’m not totally sure I understand your plan, so if my questions sound silly it’s because I am not awake enough to totally understand. Are you leaving long floats of chenille? Or will those long floats be some other yarn – or will those floats be gathered and tightened or removed?

    The reason I ask is that I’m pretty sure that chenille that’s not woven tight enough will lose its pile and you’ll have just the core yarn left. That’s why it’s important to twist fringe on anything chenille if you’re doing fringe. Otherwise you just end up with naked strings hanging down after not too much time. (One of my weaving buddies had a scarf where this happened.)

    Your idea of dyeing after you weave is a good one!!! I have a giant cone of white chenille that I purchased thinking I would dye it some day – not realize that dyeing chenille isn’t so simple! Glad to see a way of solving that problem!

    Good luck! Looking forward to seeing the results of your plan!!


    • 3 fibresofbeing December 5, 2009 at 9:32 pm

      The floats will be in a different yarn – probably a smooth, strong cotton. I’ll use them to gather the woven cloth tightly after I do the initial dyeing but before I discharge the dye. The discharge solution will not be able to penetrate the compressed gathers, so in those areas the initial dye colour will be saved. Once the colour work is done I will remove the floating weft threads and only the silk chenille will remain.

      At least that’s the plan. I’ve done other types of shibori in the past, but not woven, so it’s new territory.

  3. 4 evasweaving December 6, 2009 at 8:34 am

    I have had similar experiences with chenille to what Sue says, when it’s not tight, the floats are long, or it’s not well finished it does funny things. I just have to tell you this story about a chenille experience I had many many years ago: I used chenille as part of the warp along with other mixed yarns and a textured wool yarn for the weft and wove an interesting fabric that I sewed into a funky pullover, it was a commission for a lady who owned a ceramics shop. I did not do any kind of wet finishing on it and figured it can be dry cleaned. The lady loved it especially all the colors and textures. A few months later she called me to say the pullover had lots of loose yarns coming out all over – it was the darn chenille that just “crawled” out over time. I learned a lesson here and improved on it through time. Your Plan sounds exciting, go for it, see what happens, you never really know until you try.

    p.s. thanks for checking out my blog and thank you, Sue, for your kind words

  4. 5 Sheila December 6, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I think I’ll give away all my chenille yarn. I am such a newbie, I didn’t know it was tricky even though I am not experiencing trouble with the weaving (or am I?)…I have discovered I don’t like the feel of it! And I can’t wait to get it off the loom and plan something fun!

  1. 1 Chenille shibori « Fibres of Being Trackback on December 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm

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