Kay then demonstrated how the highly toxic dyes are mixed and discussed safety practices when using them. By popular vote, Kay mixed a teal solution. (Those of us who voted for pink of purple lost out!)

There was plenty of colors to choose from though — Ann and Kay had pre-mixed a range of dyes for participants to use, and we learned how to weaken solutions with urea water to obtain lighter shades for ombre painting (see right).

After the yarn had been soaked in soda ash solution, participants laid out the warps and skeins on long lengths of plastic wrap which had been placed on newspaper. Using sponge brushes, we eagerly got started with painting warps. In a short time there was a rainbow of color around the room.

Although we were encouraged to stray from our usual color choices, I admit to sticking to my usual range from red through purple to blues. After lunch I decided to be more adventurous and added a splash of bright yellow.

At the end of the workshop, participants rolled their yarns into bundles and stored them safely for transporting home. The next day after work, I eagerly unwrapped the yarn bundles, rechaining warps as instructed, and washed them in cold, then hot water with Dawn dish detergent. I then hung them out to dry. Most surpring to me was the sphere, which I had dip dyed in fuschia on one side, and mixing blue on the other. The resulting variegated yarn that I wound into a skein when I got home had been transformed from the cream yarn that I had overdyed.

Prior to the workshop I had made notes of how I planned to use the warps and skeins. I’ll have to finish off some other projects before I get to these! But this short adventure into warp-painting has unlocked lots more avenues to explore in my future dyeing and weaving explorations. Thank you Ann and Kay! 

Ten participants eagerly gathered at the Spruill Center for a warp painting workshops with Kay Guilmet and Ann Doherty on Sunday August 18th 2019. (Kay and Ann had also presented a similar workshop on the previous Friday). As someone who works full-time, I was excited and appreciative to have the opportunity to attend a weekend workshop on using Procion MX Reactive Dyes to paint warps. Participants brought along a range of fibers (cotton, silk, tencel, bamboo and linen) wound in warps, spheres (or cakes), and skeins, all of which had been pre-soaked in water. The day began with Kay and Ann showing us various samples of warps, skeins and spheres that they had each hand painted, along with hand woven scarves (see left).

Look for this class in the Fall Quarter – available for general registration on September 8.

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