A bonanza of packages landed on my doorstep yesterday: the cotton-covered polyester thread I’d been waiting for, five silkscreen frames, and a starter package of disperse dyes (to dye the polyester post burnout). I am unblocked, un-bluesed, and ready to create!
I’ve started winding the warp for the devoré samples. It is going to be 16 yards long and 22″ wide. I am going to use a mix of “natural” and “eggshell” colors because the eggshell is virtually the same shade (cream) as the natural, and I needed more thread than I’d ordered in natural. I had originally planned to warp up a 12″ sample but eventually decided that the warp was so long, I might as well put it on wider and weave the actual fabric off the same warp. 16 yards ought to be plenty to do samples plus a long vest! And if not, I’ll just put on another warp for the “real thing”.
I have two colors available for the weft: white and “ecru”, which to me looks more like taupe. I will try both, but since I am looking for a relatively low-contrast fabric, and the ecru/taupe is quite dark, I will probably go with white. The idea is to do a subtle, network-drafted pattern in cream and white, wavy as the drift of an autumn leaf, and place the “leaves” in strategic spots around the pattern so it looks like they’re drifting downward with the wind.
I will definitely try out different wefts, however, as well as surface design in antique gold paint – subtle designs in white on white are great, but they are only visible up close, and this garment is designed to be viewed across the room and on the runway. So something higher-contrast will be needed to “establish the line”.
Meanwhile, I have discovered that my silkscreen emulsion film is too old to use, so I have ordered some more. It is labeled as “not suitable for water-based inks” but I called the distributor, and they said that for a short print run, it should be fine. Since I am only planning a few copies in any print run, I think I’ll be fine. This weekend, in between putting on the new warp and finishing dyeing the cross-dyed samples, I will prepare the frames (seal the wood, attach the polyester mesh, and seal the outside with duct tape). Once the photo emulsion film arrives, I’m going to attach the film to the screens and then do another exposure test. Hopefully this one will come out better!
Off to wind some more warp! Today and Friday are fairly booked with other things, but I’m hoping to have the loom fully warped and weaving by Sunday afternoon. I can’t wait to see how the devoré comes out!