Friday, September 29, 2017

The First Wash

As I've read about the Fox Fibre yarns, they can change (either in minor or surprising ways) in an alkaline wash. Here's my experience with only one wash. I decided not to stitch the hems until the cloth was laundered, so that it would be more coherent cloth running through the sewing machine. I put a small amount of soap, and about a teaspoon of sodium carbonate (soda ash) in with the ten towels.

First, a closeup of the brown stripes down the middle of the towel:

The washed and pressed towel is at the top of the photo, and the unwashed, unironed sample at the bottom. As predicted, the brown yarns darkened a little, and the cloth shrank somewhat. It was 19 inches in the reed, and 16.5 inches after its first wash and press.

The more interesting effect of that first wash is in the green yarns:

They actually changed hue, going from a sort of khaki tan to a moss green, which I like much better.

I think that once the hems are sewn I will launder with soda ash once more, just to see what change will come with a second alkaline bath. Then they will be tagged for the Central Coast Handweavers annual guild sale, coming up the first weekend in November. If I have time, I'll photograph all the different variations. This one has natural cotton yarns in the weft; the ones with Fox Fibre green wefts have a distinctly different effect.

1 comment:

Laura Fry said...

This mirrors my experience...that the green changes more than the brown.