Posted by Peg in South Carolina
After I corrected the treadling errors in the wool crackle sampling (go here to read about that), it was time to wash it. First I hand washed it. I soaked it in very hot water with some Ivory detergent for 30 minutes. Then I squeezed and pummeled and squeezed some more for a couple of minutes. I let it soak for another 30 minutes, then squeezed and pummeled some more. I rinsed it, squeezed the water out of it by hand, then put it flat in a bath towel which I then stood on to get the rest of the excess water out. Then I hung it to dry.
Here is what it looked like when I was finished.
Some fulling had taken place. It was OK. It had softened up a bit. It looked a lot more cohesive than when it was unwashed. But I was not satisfied. I thought I could do better with the washing machine.
I put a bit of Ivory detergent in the machine filled half way with hot water. I put the sample in and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then I let it agitate for 5 minutes. I stopped the machine and looked at it. Needed some more agitation. I repeated the process twice more and here are the results.
I am quite pleased. It is fuzzy and soft and nicely blurred. The colors have softened. And it is plushly thick. Yet the design shows. I also liked the thin red tabby though I think I different color or shade of red would have been better. But I got the effect I was after of these red dots peeking through.
There was a bit of bleeding from the red but I liked the result: an ever so slight pinkish cast to the piece which pulled the whole thing together nicely. Kind of like overdying!
Despite its fuzzy softness, it is too heavy for a scarf. I will cut it up to send to the March Complex Weavers’ Crackle Exchange. I do hate to cut it up. I would like to keep it whole just to fondle it and look at it from time to time. A totally useless piece but it pleases me.
Because I like this so much, I am now playing (in my head) with the idea of weaving wool crackle scarves for Christmas. But I will weave with (surprise!) a much finer wool. And I might see if I can’t think about some planned overdying…….
The last two photographs are quite an accurate representation of the fabric. And there was no playing with the software (except for adding borders, watermark). The first one is not at all accurate. I tried and tried and tried playing with the software, but I simply could not get it right.
They were photographed in two different rooms. The first one on my weaving bench where there are a lot of windows. So natural light and incandescent light were conflicting. The second two were photographed in a room where there was very little natural light.
I shall have to test out the resulting hypothesis in the future……….
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