Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Morning Glory by Debbie

Weave Structure: plain weave

Warp: 10/2 perle cotton in natural

Weft: 10/2 perle cotton in natural

Sett: 30 epi (2 per dent in 15 dent reed)

Number of ends: 90

Other materials:
Textile paints
EZ-Cut printing block
Linoleum carving tool set
Flat bristle brush

I stamped and brushed designs on to the warp on the loom before weaving each bookmark. The effect is similar to ikat but much easier to achieve. I chose the yarn and sett with definition of the painted designs in mind. The finer the yarn the closer the sett, the better the definition.

Making Stamp

Using linoleum carving tools, I carved the stamp from the EX-Cut block. I traced a large metal washer onto the slab to make a donut shape, then cut away the areas I didn't want to print. I thought the shape needed a little pizazz so I carved 'spikes" radiating from the center. Voila - a stylized morning glory (which explains the color choice).


First, I made a printing surface: I covered a sturdy piece of Styrofoam with a pepr tpwel and wedged it under the warp where it enters the reed. I increased warp tension to prevent shifting of the yarns during painting.

I printed the morning glory shapes first: Using the end of a wedge-shaped cosmetic sponge, I strippled a thin layer of blue textile paint onto the stamp, Supporting the Styrofoam with my left hand, I firmly pressed the stamp into the warp then liftee it off. I re-painted the stamp before stamping the second flower.


Using a narrow flat bristle brush, I painted the yellow flower centers, brushed in the red shapes, then painted the green leaves.


I removed the Stryofoam sheet and opened the shed to separate warp ends and speed drying. A hair dryer quickly dried the paint so I could start weaving again immediately


I inserted two Popsicle sticks between bookmarks to allow for fringe, then started weaving plain weave. I wove just enough the cover the painted areas.

Finishing/Lesson Learned the Hard Way

According to the label on the textile paints, I should have pressed each bookmark for 30 seconds on the highest setting the fiber will tolerate to set the color. But I didn’t do that. In a senior moment, I hand washed the bookmarks first in cold water, allowed them to dry, then pressed them. As a result, there was some color fading and some of the red transferred, to my dismay. It was interesting to note, however, that the bookmarks painted more than a week ago did not fade; those that were painted within the past few days faded the most. It’s not a dramatic difference, but disappointing all the same! Obviously, allowing the paint to “batch” helps set it. (I once took an art quilt class from a nationally known quilter who said she never heat-sets her textile paints. She just lets them set for a few weeks.)


• A sheet of foamcore also makes a good painting surface. If you have a large enough piece of whatever you use, cut it so that one end can rest on the reed’s shuttle race and the other on the cloth beam.

• Apply paint to the stamp in one or more thin layers. Stipple the paint onto the stamp until you have an even layer of paint. Test the stamp on paper before applying it to your warp. If you are using a carved stamp, testing might show you have to “tweak” your carving to get the image you want. Wash stamp immediately after stamping and dry completely before using again. (EZ-Cut can crack or break with rough handling, so be gentle!)

• Don’t worry about painting perfect shapes with the brush. Weaving blurs the edges and make shapes less distinct anyway.

A similar technique using stencils instead of stamps is described by Elda Kohls in her article “Ikat Effects Without the Fuss,” in the November/December 2000 issue of Handwoven magazine.

EZ-Cut Printing Blocks and linoleum carving tools are available from Dick Blick (www.dickblick.com).

I used Jacquard Textile Paints, but there are many other brands. A good source is Dharma Trading (www.dharmatrading.com). Colors used were 118 Olive Green, 101 Yellow, 111 Sky Blue and 107 Ruby Red.

About the Weaver

I have enjoyed weaving on and off as a hobby for about 14 years. My projects tend to focus on color effects, rather than weave structure. I love using hand-dyed yarns to weave scarves and shawls. Although I have dabbled in dyeing my own cotton warps with fiber reactive dyes, most of the time I purchase them. (You can see my faux ikat shawl at Heritage Yarns' Web site,

I'm a member of Chimneyville Weavers and Spinners Guild, based in Mississippi. For the past year I've been taking an ongoing weaving class from Marcy Petrini, author of the "Right From the Start" column in Shtttle, Spindle and Dypot magazine. Marcy thinks I need to 'stretch'myself more, since I tend to weave merrily along in my own little comfort zone of plain weave and twills. I'm going to have to try a more challenging project soon just to her her off my back. (just kidding, Marcy).

Besides weaving, I like to sew, knit and spin - and collect fabric, yarn, beads, fiber arts books, etc. One of thse dayes, I want to get serious about making small scale art quilts. Since childhood I've had a special itnerst in ethnic art and textiles - their bright colors and patterns are exciting to me. A project I am completing now is a twill scarf with narrow, random stripes of bright color, inspired by Guatemalan weaving.

I'm a 49 year old, life long result of Mississippi employed as an editor so I can buy more yarn, more fabrics and dog food. My husband and I have three rescued dogs and two cats. We're currently trying to find a home for a stray female dog and her puppy who recently wandered into our lives. Anybody interested?

June 2006


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