Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Weaving Cloth and the wet finishing (fulling)

It is rare when a "fiber artist" actually takes time out from making things for sale to make something for him/herself or the house.  Well, I took time out last week to make a table runner for my bookcase in the 3rd floor guest bath.  The reveal of the total bathroom remodel will be post on this blog in the coming weeks, as soon as the last remaining finishing touches are completed.  :)  

This cloth was made from Debbie Bliss Fez yarn which is 85% merino and 15% camel.  It is a felt-able yarn which is what I wanted for this project.  

I chose a Navy Blue and Pale Yellow colors.  I used an Ashford 24" rigid heddle loom with a 7.5 dent reed.  The yarn is a worsted weight.  The runner came out to approx 38 inches long and 11 inches wide after fulling.  It shrank about 3/4 of an inch in width and 3+ inches in length.   I hand twisted the fringe because I wanted it to hang off the sides rather than using a hem stitch etc.  

To full the cloth, I used hot sudsy water and soaked for about 5 minutes to get it totally wet.  Then I simply scrubbed the cloth to itself longwise. Alternatively, I could have used a washboard, but I really wanted my hands to control the process.   I repeated this procedure 3 times until I got the tightness in the cloth I desired.   I wanted the colors to remain somewhat vibrant and not completely meshed with each other, but I also wanted the cloth to have some stiffness as it is a table runner, not a scarf.  Once I was done with the scrubbing, I alternated hot, cold, hot, cold baths, then squeezed (not rang) out the water and used a chamois to get even more water out and then laid it flat on my knitting blocking matts.  No pins or blocking needed.  

Here is the start (on the loom), before wet finishing (fulling), on the blocking mat, and finally on the bookcase.  

I am quite please with the results. . . what do you think? 

Left to Right 1. On the loom, 2. Before fulling 3. On the blocking matt
Bottom Finished piece in place