Dyeing first warp layer of 3D sample project (Lac and Weld)

I’ve partially finished dyeing the first warp layer for my 3D sample project and thought I better record some notes:

I measured out 38 warp bundles of 45 threads each (or .25″ at 180 epi). I figured I would wrap .25″ bundles for the dyeing, however, it quickly became apparent that bundles of 90 threads (.5″ at 180 epi) will work much better. After measuring out the bundles, I inserted rods to hold the crosses at each end of the warp and secured the ends of the rods. I find that the plastic rods that come with blinds work well. I use a double cross at each end of the warp.

I scoured the yarn using Orvus and an eye on the temperature of the water. The rods are great for managing the warp through the dye process.

The silk is really beautiful after it’s been scoured. Normally, I would mordant the silk next, but because I’m using Alum as a mordant, I chose to add it directly to the dye bath. Instead I started on the ikat wrapping. Because this is a small sample piece I was able to print the design on regular paper.

Then I made the Lac dye bath with. 1tsp Lac dye extract; 1 tsp Alum; 1 tsp cream of tartar; and 8 cups of H2O. 

I covered the dye bath and left it overnight.

The next day I removed the warp and let it dry.

When I removed the wraps I mistakenly cut 6 threads. After the wraps were removed and the warp had dried, I prepared the Weld dye bath. For this dye bath I used 3 Tblsp of the weld; 1 tsp cream of tartar; 1 Tblsp cream of tartar; 1  tsp alum; 8 cups H2O. This was not a success:


The yellow is way too pale. notes: possibly not enough Alum, however weld is not supposed to need a mordant. I need to get my act together and start weighing the fiber and the dye. Cream of tartar has the opposite effect on weld and makes the color paler; finally my water is at pH 6 and weld does better in hard water–the soda ash might not have been enough to affect pH and a Tums or two might have been better–regardless I need to do a better job about checking pH.

I tried another dye bath with only slightly better results. 2nd dye bath: Weld–50% WOF 28 grams. 8 cups H2O simmered 45 minutes. I poured the dye bath over the warp and suspended the weld in the dye bath over the warp suspended in layers of cheese cloth:

I covered the dye bath and left it for about 8 hours. At first the warp looked okay. Not as intense a yellow as I wanted, but still pretty.

However, it faded over time. And, I have very debris in the silk fibers from the weld; a point in the favor of using extracts. So, I am now going to overdye it in the same indigo pot that I dip my second warp into. I’m hoping for a nice light green and a darkish purple palette on this warp. Fingers crossed.

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