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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Open Studios, Threading, and Other Pastimes

The San Luis Obispo County Open Studios Art Tour begins this weekend. We'll be open from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday, October 9-10, and again the weekend of October 23-24 (same hours). If you're in the Central Coast area of California, please do drop by the studio. You can email me at sandra at 3springshandworks dot com for address and directions (it's easy - we're only 2 turns off Hwy 101, and only 1 turn off Hwy 41).

There will be woodturning demonstrations, and the jacquard loom will be up and running.

I'm hoping to finish threading the 24-shaft loom so I can show the difference between the patterning that's possible on a shaft loom compared to a jacquard loom. The warp is beamed:



And arrayed on lease sticks suspended behind the shafts:



And about two-thirds threaded:



The three warp colors together make a wonderful honey-blonde, which I think will be really lovely in the woven cloth.

While I thread, and listen to classical music on the iPod, I've got a skein of 60/2 silk soaking in a madder dyebath at room temperature.



I had hopes for a redder hue, based on the color of the liquid in the jar while the ground madder chips soaked in alcohol, but it's turning out to be the brick-orange hue, not red-red.

This is the second extraction from the ground madder, but the first alcohol extraction. I saved the dyestuff, and will try another alcohol extraction in an attempt to get that red-red. There's definitely still a lot of color in the material, so maybe it will just take more time to get the orange out and reach the mythical reds.

I'm hesitant to try shifting the pH, because often the resulting color will shift back again if the article is washed at a higher pH. If I can't depend on the color to stay a particular hue, it's difficult to sell to a customer and promise that the color she sees on the scarf is the color that will be there after the scarf is laundered. My tap water is slightly alkaline, like most laundry conditions, so I can be fairly sure that what's there now will be there after laundering.

Oh well, the brick orange will work well with the warp colors...

4 comments:

neki desu said...

hard water's not enough.
try adding lots and lots of calcium carbonate to make it very alkaline.
at least that's the theory. never been able to get THAT red.

Benita said...

I soak my ground madder over night to soak out most of the yellow dye, then put the madder in fresh water for the actual dye bath (reserve the "Yellow" soak as you can get a lovely bright orange with it with alum). This has given me some pretty deep rich, reds with an alum mordant. The longer it soaks, the richer the color. If you have any sun in your area, try a sun-tea type of dye bath in a glass jar. The sun heats the bath through the glass just right for madder and after about 7-8 days, the color is wonderful!

Connie Rose said...

Have a great Open Studios, Sandra!

debmcclintock said...

Take 6 tumms tablets, grind them up one at a time and add them to your dyebath. Check color after each is added. Stop when you get your red. Same theory as Neki says above....should push to red.