Archive for the 'Dyeing' Category

Scarf requiring rescue…

Possibly a picture is worth a thousand words – but this one is lying.

Yes, you see a gleaming silk scarf with wonderful drape and soft hand. I’m pleased with the stripe sequence I used. My selvedges are improving. I’d do it all (or almost all) again. And yet… this post is something between a “help wanted” ad and a crime scene report…

WANTED: Ideas to save silk scarf.

Vital statistics: warp 20/2 silk. Weft 60/2 silk. Warp faced plain weave at 40 ends per inch. Finished width 24 cm.  Finished length including fringe 182 cm.

The problem: unsightly blotches.

The villain: Seen on the right hand side of this photo, taken after Linda Coffill’s workshop last summer.

The sob story: It could happen to anyone – a happy summer day with like-minded folk, a busy workshop atmosphere, a level of inattention to minor details such as how long that silk has actually been in the dye bath in fatal combination with an eagerness to see how it turned out.

A pleasant time weaving a scarf in stripes of pink/orange and (gulp!!) undyed white. We were so happy until (cue scarey music)… wet finishing. Then it all started to unravel – or more accurately, to run.

So it sat, for months. Christmas came and went – and this intended Christmas present sat, forlorn, ungifted.   A couple of weeks ago I finally decided Something Must Be Done – soaked it in acidic water and put it in the microwave in an attempt to set the remaining dye properly.

Whatever Something should have been done, that wasn’t it! I am feeling suitably chastened and foolish. I don’t think the scarf or I could take any more forlorn months so Something Else Must Be Done!!!

Current thought is some shibori clamping or stitching and an overdye. Introduce still more uneven colour, in an interesting organic contrast to the regular stripes (in a fibonacci variation). However all suggestions gratefully received and considered.

Finally, the victim:

brace yourself

New colours, new sample

Red 2B, Green B, Navy R. DOS 1%

The latest results of dye mixing – now moving to a paler depth of shade (although DOS refers to the ratio of dye to materials being dyed, not directly to the value of the end result. Anyway, less dye available to the same amount of yarn equals a lighter colour).

In progress is dyeing at 1% DOS using the colours in my planned weaving mix project. I dye six 25g skeins at a time, there are 21 colours in each mix triangle, and it takes a few days for each skein to move through the steps – winding yarn from a larger skein; dyeing including sitting in the dye liquid overnight; drying thoroughly; rinsing; drying thoroughly; winding into a ball. It’s been a nice, potter-y thing to do while on holidays. I’ll have to find a new rhythm when I go back to work next week.

huck lace / colour mix sample

I’ve made some progress on the sample for the colour mix project. Actually, at one time more progress than shows here – I wove the header then found a threading error, so have gone backwards a bit. Rather embarrassing – I was busy being smug, thinking how nicely the colour striping and threading and sett and denting worked together, making it so easy to avoid errors … then oops, what’s going on there??? Maybe (I hope) it makes it easy to identify errors (but that assumes there aren’t more lurking, ready to bite).

The colours here are from the Yellow 2R, Blue 2R, Red G triangle shown here, and I’ll use a few others from that mix set as weft. The sample is on my Ashford table loom, using 4 shafts. The final piece I plan to put on the Noble loom, spreading the threading over more shafts.

Progress on The Plan

I’m being a bit lazy here, and it shows. This scan doesn’t even hint at the gorgeousness of the latest dyeing colour mix set. The stack of wound balls presentation of dyed yarn is a bit more exciting, but I decided to try a change.

I’m somewhat betwixt and between in my dyeing. I measure things out and keep records, but there’s a fair whack of slapdash and inaccuracy in it. You can see my labelled yarn wrap records, showing a methodical progression through mixes. You may also be able to see the uneven change of colour on the diagonal moving from pure Bordeaux B on the top right down to pure Yellow 4G at the bottom. This could reflect the different properties and strengths of the two dyes. It’s more likely one or more of: I muddled up skeins; I overfilled or underfilled the metric measuring spoons I use to measure out dye stock; a bottle in which I store dyestock dribbled while I was measuring; the dyestock was old and tired; I misread my planning page and measured incorrect amounts…. Whatever, there is also the “issue” that each yarn shows variation, not a single solid colour.

For my purposes it’s Good Enough. I’m learning, having fun, and have a growing collection of beautiful silk yarn to play with. I don’t need to reproduce colours exactly, and I actually prefer the semi-solids which are more lively to my eyes.

This set of colours is the one I want to explore further in weaving. I love each individual one (except the pure yellow, which is a Challenge and Good For Me to learn to use!).

Out of the all the possibilities I’ve been considering, this is the current front runner. It’s alternating stripes of huck lace from Donna Muller’s Handwoven Laces (page 57).

It has areas of plain weave, warp lace and weft lace – so should be effective in exploring colour interactions. The current thought is a warp with 21 stripes – each of the colours in the colour mix triangle (I may redye that pesky bordeaux to yellow section). For weft, I’m thinking of using the same 21 colours, plus a selection from yarns dyed with the same mix proportions but different depth of shade (that is, lighter). I’ve already started dyeing a group at 1% DOS, and plan another at maybe 0.1% DOS.

The end result will be about shawl size, with 21 colours in warp and say 42 in weft giving 800+ colour combinations (with repeats). Multiply by 3 given plain weave, warp and weft areas.  All from 3 base dye colours. Current thought is 25 epi for the 20/2 silk, which fits nicely with a denting scheme for lace and my 10 epi reed (the only one I have for the big loom).

What do you think? Viable? Interesting? Other alternatives I have overlooked???

The next steps are more dyeing, plus a woven sample to check sett etc.


Breaking the ice with colour play

Yellow 4G, Blue 5G & Rhodamine

Yellow 2R, Blue 2R & Red G

Aren’t they pretty? I’ve got a big box of white 20/2 silk yarn and am slowly turning it into 25 g cakes of shimmering colour.

2010 has not turned out according to plan. On the plus side, I’m no longer a plus size! I’m not quite at “normal” yet (as defined by a government information site), but it’s getting close (thank you Lane Cove Curves). I’m walking without pain and energy levels are way, way up. Among some of the year’s minuses – well, a selection of the challenges we all face from time to time. Nothing too dreadful, but time consuming and draining. Things settled and I started playing with yarns again a while back, but blogging (reading and writing) has taken longer.

The photos are OK but not wonderful in terms of being true to life. I’m using Lanaset dyes mainly, with Sandolan Rhodamine for the strong fuchsia. I’ve used Lanaset since 2005 (I found an old invoice in the box), but the Rhodamine is new to me. I should have read the instructions (which suggest a maximum of 2% DOS – depth of shade) first, because I used 3% DOS and the rhodamine didn’t come close to exhausting and didn’t rinse clear. So that’s a definite drat – I’ll have to be very careful about how I use that set, and expect the finished item(s) to run.

I guess from the photo setup you can get the idea of the colour mixing I’m doing. Three unmixed colours at the vertices of the triangles, with combinations of two dyes along each edge and all three in the interior.

I’m still turning over possibilities for some end uses. I’ve found lots of inspiration while catching up on my blog reading 🙂 The idea will be to follow up the mixing of dye colours with the optical colour mixing of warp/weft/structure in the weaving.  I’m not going to do anything as risky as planning or (gulp!) making resolutions, but I’m hoping for lots of yarn, lots of colour and lots of learning ahead!


I blinked and time has passed! I’m afraid this post will be a rough-and-ready mix, catching up.

The major focus has been finding appropriate residential care for my mother-in-law. She had a rotten year with several long hospital stays – returning to her own home was not an option. She’s now close by getting the care she needs, and while not happy she is making an effort to accept what became inevitable. I feel lucky to live in Australia where aged care is heavily government regulated – complex and hard to navigate, but available (eventually), good quality and affordable.

There was also a weekend trip to Canberra with my mother to see the
MASTERPIECES from PARIS – wonderful artworks which transcended the crowds and queueing. The season has been extended to 18 April, but make sure you pre-purchase tickets and be prepared to be patient. If you have children, there is a wonderful room of activities available inside the exhibition as well as a child-friendly audio tour.

The March ATASDA NSW meeting was fun. The Maharajah’s Garden pieces were all there, though difficult to see in the crush of people. I bought these “weaving sticks” from another member. The warp yarn is threaded through the base of the sticks (see insert top left of the photo), the sticks provide a rigid form to wind the weft around, and as the sticks are covered you push the weft down over the warp.

There has been other weaving. (Sorry for the bad photos – time is crunching!)

This is one of the warps I dyed in Linda Coffill’s class in January. It’s 20/2 silk sett at 40 epi. Weft is 60/2 silk. Plain weave, with warp dominant but weft still visible. The result has a lovely drape, hand and shine. I’m really happy with it.

One interesting thing is the impact of the weft colour. It was dyed coral, the same as parts of the warp. The little dots of the weft showing intensify the colour where the warp is also coral. They dull the blue areas, and particularly the lighter greenish-blue. Overall the balance of colour is not what I planned. I don’t mind the result, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind in the future.

Another spin-off from Linda’s class was the formation of a new colour study group within the Guild. We’ve started meeting once a month in the Guild rooms – other members are welcome (we’re not meeting in April due Easter and holidays). At our first meeting we had lots of show and tell and talked about what we want to do. At our second, we brought dyed fibres, a couple of people brought their drum carders, and we played with colour blending. I experimented with blending the same colours (not necessarily the same proportions), creating rolags using hand carders and a layered bat in the drum carder.

I spun the results without plying, but was very rough when finishing the yarn so that it would felt up and not cause too many shrinkage problems when weaving. It became weft in part of my latest weaving class sampler – crackle.

The section above the dividing line was the drum carded part – texturally more evenly mixed and the brown dominant (it was the outside layers of the sandwich).

The lower part was the handcarded rolags. Lots of variation and interest. I really like that section.

I’m not going to attempt an explanation of crackle here. There’s lots of information available – Peg has a huge amount in her blog, and there are heaps of articles on

This is another section of the same sampler. The right third of the warp was plain brown, threaded to show each of the 4 blocks. The left side was a fairly random mix of 6 colours in the warp, and the threading jumped around between blocks. I did quite a bit of playing with different pattern and tabby wefts. Lots of potential to return to another day.

For today, sorry about the jumbled rush but at least that brings me almost up to date. It’s progress 🙂

Warp painting with Linda Coffill

Last week at the NSW Guild‘s summer school I went to a great two day class with Linda Coffill, dyeing warps. It was excellent – great group of women, sufficient space to spread out our warps, hot outside (nice for drying) and cool inside, and most importantly a knowledgeable and generous teacher.

Linda talked to us about use of colour and flow – colour moving, changing, no harsh boundaries creating jerks and stopping movement. She brought along her enormous collection of Landscape dyes (being one part of Petlins,  Linda was able to bring along shop stock to supplement where necessary).

A great advantage of Landscape dyes in the class setting (and at home for those who choose, of course) is that all the auxiliary chemicals are already mixed in with the dye, so they are ready to use as soon as mixed with water (dyeing protein fibres only, such as wool and silk). Also they come in many, many colours (charts here), so we could concentrate on specific techniques with the warps rather than colour mixing.  (At home I’ll stick with Lanaset dyes – it’s not that hard to add the extra chemicals, and I’m a believer in mixing your own colours).

I’ve dyed yarns before, but never warps. Our first exercise was to wind a warp of 72 ends in 8 ply wool (suggested to keep things fast). Linda showed us how to lay out the warp, folding and positioning to create a balanced gradient on the scarf (ie both ends matching), allowing for loom waste etc. We could then dye a supplementary warp to use as an accent. There wasn’t time for weaving during the class – well, others managed it but not me :). This was one of yesterday’s unfinished items, now completed and very pretty, if I say so myself.

I haven’t tried a supplementary warp before. The main warp was the wool, threaded for plain weave on shafts 1 and 2. I wound that on the back beam sett at 8 ends per inch, then through the heddles and reed leaving space for the supplementary weft – empty heddles on shafts 3 and 4 and matching gaps in the reed. The supplementary warp was tussah ribbon yarn from Beautiful Silks. I wrapped each silk end onto its own plastic bobbin, threaded through the waiting spaces, and weighted them in groups over the back beam with S hooks and washers. Weaving was simpler than I expected – lifting shafts 1 and 2 in turn for the plain weave base, and on each pick adding either shaft 3 or 4.

The colour pattern (using landscape names) was meant to be:
* wool warp starting heath, fading into dusk, fading into granite, then back through dusk into heath at the other end;
* supplementary silk warp starting at granite, fading into heath and back to granite;
* weft dusk throughout (slightly darker than in the warp).

I had some trouble at the beginning working with the very stretchy wool and the not-at-all stretchy silk, so the gradations didn’t quite match up as planned, but unless someone else starts obsessively folding and measuring the scarf noone will know!

The rest of my dyeing from class will need to wait in the weaving queue a while. Experiments 2 and 3 were “crampot dyeing” – the yarn scrunched around in minimal water in a pan and dye colours added to different regions. For the one on the left in the photo I also dyed yarn in a single colour for supplementary warp and weft. I have plans pencilled in for these, subject to change. To save time and do more dyeing in class I didn’t wind warps first, I just dyed whole hanks, so I should have plenty for whatever I end up doing.

The final warp involved a couple of hours of winding and tieing in complex groups. This will be a warp faced scarf, warp in 20/2 silk, weft (at the back in the photo) 60/2 silk. There will be 21 stripes in all, using 4 base colours (coral, pacific and tasman with a little granite) in various combinations. Linda’s examples were beautiful (drat me forgetting the camera both days!), so I have high hopes, but not expectations!

Chenille shibori

Silk chenille – woven, dyed, discharged.

This was hard to photograph because of the way it responds to the light. An intriguing cloth, and I’ll need to think a while about where to take it next.

Process overview:

Weaving: Silk chenille for warp and weft, sett 15 ends per inch. Monks belt threading on 4 shafts. The warp has block sizes of 6, 12 and 24 ends.

The chenille was woven in plain weave (blue weft in the draft). I wove floats in the monks belt pattern using a strong cotton thread as weft (red in the draft). I experimented with 6, 12 and 24 picks of chenille between each pick of cotton. For the second half of the sampler I only lifted one pattern shaft with the cotton, giving a mix of plain weave and floats.

Dyeing: Immersion dyed with Lanaset dyes, which dye protein but not cellulose fibres. This photo shows the varied spacing and the monks belt blocks of the cotton weft. The chenille was a rich chocolate brown and not as uneven as it appears in the photo – the cloth hadn’t been pressed after dyeing, and the light caught the texture. Simply adding colour made the cloth much more attractive than my earlier samples.

Gathering the cloth: The cotton wefts were used to gather the cloth into pleats. I pulled and knotted pairs of wefts, trying to make the gathering as tight as possible. The idea is that the next stage of the process mainly impacts on the exposed cloth, with the interior of the pleats  protected from change.

Discharge: Discharging removes dyed colour. I used thiourea dioxide (TUD) and a process from Shibori – creating color & texture on silk by Karren Brito (one of my favourite books, although it took some time for me to warm to it). TUD is pretty straight-forward to use, but you need to use protection including a proper respirator mask since a byproduct is stinky sulfur dioxide. I do it in the garage with doors and window wide open for ventilation – waiting for a good opportunity was the slowest part. First our next-door-neighbours were having a christmas gathering in their backyard (we have a good relationship and I’d prefer to keep it that way, not skunk out their guests!), the next day was too hot to move, then came rain…

Finishing:   Each end of the cloth had 20 picks of 20/2 silk. Straight off the loom I oversewed by machine using a three stitch zigzag (it takes 3 stitches to the left, then 3 to the right) using a silk sewing thread. I went over each end 3 times. The dye and discharge worked on all the different silks.

After discharging I handwashed, used fabric softener in the final rinse, and air dryed flat. I used a folded blanket to pad the ironing board surface, and pressed both sides. Although the result is big enough for a scarf I see it as a sampler and have simply cut the ends short at the machine stitching line, to see how it wears.


A few views of the results. There are areas of greater and lesser definition in the patterning. Where the gathers were widely spaced the discharge solution was able to penetrate more, more colour was removed and the effect is much softer. There was more difference on the two sides of the cloth than I expected.

At this point there are no worms. The fabric has gone through a lot of handling, so I’m hopeful there won’t be later problems. The fabric drapes well, but feels heavier than you expect. First impression is that it’s borderline for a scarf in Sydney’s climate. The hand (feel) still isn’t as soft as I’d like. I’m considering putting it through a machine wash and dry (once I’ve mustered enough courage!)

I did long overlaps of the yarn ends when changing bobbins. There’s no sign of worming, but there is a visible difference following the dyeing and discharge which I think no-one else would see. Still, I’ll try tieing the core-yarns next time.

Su Butler’s book-on-CD Understanding Rayon Chenille arrived today – a Sunday, from California to Sydney just 8 days from order to delivery, so impressive work by Village Spinning & Weaving and the US and Australian postal services! I’m looking forward to reading that while I ponder what to do next. I like what I’m getting so far, but I don’t feel I’m getting the best from this yarn yet.

Related posts:

29 November – first silk chenille samples

5 December – plan for second sampler

12 December – progress and general chenille information

Chenille progress

The story so far:

This post showed my first sampler using silk chenille as a warp, with a variety of wefts, sets and plain and twill weaves.

The next post outlined The Plan – woven shibori, plain weave chenille and monks belt pattern threads that will be used to gather the cloth during dyeing.

Progress to date: the cloth is woven and is in the dyepot as I type, becoming (I hope) a rich chocolate brown.

This project has been something of a lifeline to me the last couple of weeks. I’ve been worrying over things I can’t control, and whenever it all started feeling too much I’d distract myself by reading and speculating about chenille. (One major stress source resolved well during the week, so hopefully balance is returning).

A quick summary from internet research and my own musing, focused in particular on silk chenille yarn. BE WARNED!! Any or all of the following could be wrong, or not appropriate to whatever you are doing. This is my learning-in-progress, with no actual experience or depth of knowledge – as many questions as answers.

Still here?? “Chenille” is from the french for caterpillar – think fuzzy worm. It seems to be used for a few different-but-related things.

Twice-woven rugs – an initial weaving that is cut up between warp ends to produce shaggy long thin pieces that are used as weft in a second weaving. See Something New in Rugs, Atwater, Mary M. Weaver, Vol. 6 No. 4 (October-November 1941) available here.

Layers of fabric stitched and cut in channels to produce a shaggy look. Sample instructions here.

Confusion on the next one. When I was a child I had a “chenille bedspread”. I remember a plain woven fabric with a pattern of rows of tufts coming through the fabric. It wasn’t a separate yarn couched on top. Looking at photos on the web I’m wondering if it was actually candlewicking. Either way, it’s a red herring to my actual interest and final category…

Chenille yarn, showing separated pile and bare core yarns

Chenille yarn – short lengths of pile yarn held between two twisted core yarns. It’s the structure of the yarn which gives the name and the characteristic fuzzy worm appearance – and the troublesome twist. It can be made from all sorts of fibres. Rayon seems far and away the most common in handweaving but there’s also cotton, plus I’ve found references to linen, soy, acrylic, tencel and the one I’m working with, silk.

As well as the fibre content, chenille yarns can vary in length of pile, amount of twist, size of component yarns (core and pile), density of pile and I don’t know what else.

Twist, balance and worms. In spinning fibres are twisted together which provides strength, however the twisted yarn wants to unwind – there is yarn torque.  This is normally resolved by plying two yarns together, neutralising the twist forces and producing a balanced yarn. Try it – get a length of yarn or fibre and twist it tightly in one direction (clockwise or anti-clockwise).  Bring the two ends together, and the middle will want to twist up together.

Mostly we weave with balanced yarns that (we hope) sit nicely where we put them. Some forms of collapse weave deliberately use overtwisted yarns to cause movement and texture when the cloth is wet finished. With chenille the overtwist is used to hold in  the pile. If the overtwisted yarn isn’t held firmly in place little bits of it will want to twist up together. It can cause little “worms” bobbling up in the fabric, which could be regarded as unslightly. Anne Field covers it in her book collapse weave – Creating Three-Dimensional Cloth. With chenille, there’s an additional structural problem – release the twist, release the pile.

We need to keep the chenille and its twist firmly under control. Sett should be closer than you expect – consider the core yarns, not so much the fluffy pile. No long floats. One difficulty is that worms can appear over time – so how can I know piece A is successful before I start on piece B? Maybe carry it around lots and generally abuse it, to simulate a year’s wear in a week or two?

I’ve read in a couple of places that pile direction is significant. I don’t understand that. It seems to me that as we wind the warp it goes up then down, and as we weave the picks they go first left then right. So I guess I’ve missed something.

Cutting fabric has also been mentioned as a problem. Could this be all those new yarn ends, no longer firmly contained? Perhaps something like intense stay stitching would help.

For fringes, firm braiding or twisting with a knot seem the most common. Use of fray check has been suggested – I don’t know if that would cause a distracting hardness. In my current experiment I didn’t want a fringe, so I’ve machine stitched across each end multiple times. I’ll let you know how that goes.

I’ve  read that rayon chenille stretches a lot, especially when wet. Would that be related to the fibre (so not a concern for my silk), or the high twist which stretches out under weight (eg of the water)? I found when tying on to the front beam that the chenille stretched and in one case snapped. Maybe that’s related. I did find a comment on the strength-to-bulk relationship, but no detail.

When working with the warp, since ends were determined to twist and I didn’t have enough hands for everything, things seemed to go better when I made groups of ends twist together in a bulky, gentle way, instead of individual craziness.

Joins. An industrial reference suggests either a core knot (strip back the pile of the ends, tie a double square knot) or a splice (overlap ends and wrap). In my current piece I had an extended overlap and beat especially hard – will see over time how well that holds.

Next step is to finish and evaluate the current experiment, but I’m considering later possibilities:

  • Some combination of the chenille with the ixchel cashmere/merino (used here in my collapse weave scarf). I’m thinking the ixchel (felts/fulls incredibly) would stabilise the chenille and prevent any movement or worms. It could get a bit heavy though if there’s a collapse effect.
  • Surface design anchors – lots of decorative machine stitching, or maybe couching fancy threads or fabric strips. Again the idea would be to restrict movement of the chenille.
  • Diversified plain weave, which would keep the chenille tied down. (Link to my sampler here). It would be interesting to use a cellulose fibre (maybe rayon or cotton) with the silk chenille, then dye the finished cloth. Only the silk would take up the dye (using acid dyes).
  • Worms are mainly a problem in something used. Maybe a wall hanging could exploit them visually.


As I said at the beginning, don’t simply accept what I’ve written – I’m at the beginning of the learning curve. Other places to try:

Su Butler – definitely at the top, top, top end of the learning curve. (I have her book-on-CD on order).
YarnsPlus top ten tips
Weavezine – do a search, but this particular link describes something very similar to what I’m trying (only I read it after I started, so couldn’t incorporate any learning).
Weavolution has a rayon chenille group. (You have to join up first)
Weavetech – I searched back through the archive and found some interesting stuff. (another thing to join)
Information from CIMA – gets kind of technical. I skimmed.

A Study of the Basic Parameters Describing the Structure of Chenille Yarns by Erhan Kenan Çeven and Özcan Özdemir.   Again way technical, but I liked the pictures on the first page! There are lots of other technical papers out there – I tripped over a few CSIRO things – but they’re focused on industrial considerations and hugely over my head.

Comments always welcome – especially for all the bits I’ve got wrong 😉


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.

Beatrice Jackson


Daylilies - Beatrice Jackson


In my mailbox this week – Daylilies, by Beatrice Jackson.

It’s a cotton & linen mix, handwoven and hand dyed (arashi shibori).

Beatrice has given permission for me to quote an email giving some of her history:

… [trying out so many of the weaves] …reminded me of how I was when I started out in 1983/84. I was weaving in wool and mohair in those days, for NZ conditions. Made a lot of throw rugs, scarves, wraps, even mugrugs in dishcloth cotton!Then I went into weaving fine fabrics for entries in the NZSWWS, (now Creative Fibre), Fashion Parades. One friend was a very fine spinner and dyer, I was the weaver and another was the designer. We had work accepted in several exhibitions and fashion parades, which was very good.

Daylilies - Beatrice Jackson

“Began doing painted warps which I loved doing.

“Shibori came in to NZ at a time when it wasn’t possible for me to get in to so it wasn’t until I moved over here, that I began doing Shibori and it suddenly gave me what I wanted to do, expressing my love of nature and the use of colour.

“I began weaving in cotton, tea towels and hand towels rolled off the loom! I love twill, so many patterns to do. Don’t get to do many now.

“I now weave in cotton, fine silk, alpaca and silk and Tencel. LOVE the fine threads!”

I met Beatrice through ATASDA. You can see another of her pieces here – towards the bottom of the page (a donation to our raffle). That link also leads to galleries of textile art work from ATASDA’s recent Exotica travelling exhibition.

It’s beautiful work – very fine weaving, complex dyeing and clever use of colour (which my camera and photography “skills” struggled with). When I saw Beatrice in Brisbane last September I begged her to sell me a scarf, any scarf – everything I have seen made by her has been exceptional and I trusted her choice.

Great choice!!

(another link showing Beatrice and her work here).


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