Saturday, May 20, 2017


I would like to take you on a little adventure with me. People often wonder why hand crafted items cost so much. Over the next few weeks, I will share with you what it takes to weave hand towels. Yes, I know that you can go to a store and buy half a dozen of then for what one hand woven towel costs. However you will be back in a year buying another half dozen, while the hand woven ones keep working for nine more years,

This summer, I have chosen to dye 15 yards of warp for a run of towels. They will be woven in the shop. Generally there are 15 or 16 towels when the work is completed. The yarn used is a high quality unmercerized cotton. By the way, the warp threads weighed 2 1/2 pounds when dry.

I dyed the warp in the back room of the shop. That is a standard 6 foot table. The plan is for each towel to have at least 2 colors in the warp so that there are no two exactly alike when all is said and done. The painting took about and hour and a half.

The dyed warp then had to rest for a couple of days for the yarn to  to take on the color. There is a bunch of chemistry involved. I just trust the process and know that the color will not be as intense after rinsing.

 Rinsing:Do you have any idea how heaving a soaking wet, 15 yard warp chain can be? It really helps to have a large sink.

 Drying: Hoping that the wind doesn't start up.

And finally,winding on to the warp beam!

This is going to take more than one shift.

To be continued...

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Back Room Dyers were busy this week. These skeins will be labeled and on the shelves Saturday. 

The Back Room Dyers are Barbara, Susan and whomever shows up to help on dye day. This month it was Alisa, we appreciate her help!. Barbara is the careful planner and dye mixer. Susan comes in and and uses all the remaining dye mixed for the day in unconventional ways. 
Guess which one has more repeatable results?