Saturday, March 11, 2017

Experiment with Chenille

Recently I dyed some beige rayon chenille with magenta, reds and blues.  The dyeing process is something I learned in a Kathrin Weber class about a year ago and she calls it "cupcake" dyeing.  Simply put, I dyed the yarn while it was still in center pull balls, thus giving me a variegated yarn.
Chenille is lovely stuff, but can be troublesome once woven.  It tends to "worm" in weave structures that have longer floats and many weavers just end up using plain weave rather than risk the piece turning into a bumpy mess after wet finishing.  I decided to experiment with my variegated chenille, using a weave structure with the chenille mostly showing on one side and the other side predominantly showing the 8/2 blue rayon warp, sett at 20 epi.
There is lots of color variation in the scarf as you can see from the photos below.  The middle fabric photo is a close up of the chenille side and also the warp face side so that you can see the color differences. Notice also the neat little pattern on the blue side of the scarf.
I wet finished the piece and put it in the dryer to make sure that worming wasn't going to be a problem.  It wasn't and I'm satisfied that the fabric will be stable and I can use this technique for future projects.

Should you want to weave your own scarves, the draft is shown below.  The chenille weft is the thicker thread and a finer thread that weaves on shafts 2 and 4 is in orange.  (I used a maroon fine weft to go with the chenille colors, but used orange in the draft so that you could see the structure more clearly).
I also used six treadles to keep my place in the pattern more easily.  Thick, thin, thick, thick, thin, thick.

This last draft is just the reverse side of the draft above.  See how the blue warp is the predominant color on this side.