I spent the morning winding and tying off the next sample warp. Because I have two warps to paint and they need to synchronize, I needed to come up with a way to mark off the color sequence changes. I also wanted to keep the color sequences separate from each other, so that (for example) the black wouldn’t leak into the orange parts and vice versa.
I thought about this and finally decided to use a resist on the warp: wind the warp, take it off the warping wheel, and then tie it at the points I wanted marked. I had some artificial sinew – used for tying up tie-dyed items – and decided to use it on the warps, both to prevent bleeding and to mark off the color changes.
I started by tying the first mark, one yard from the beginning (front end) of each warp. Once I had those lined up, I tied the two warps together to prevent them from slipping. Then I unchained both warp bundles, and stretched them out side by side, putting light tension on both warps (a steel plate put on one end) to keep them in sync.
I measured out to the first mark, then tied the warps together 5″ past the mark to bind the warps together and prevent slipping. After that, I tied off one warp at the mark, wrapping the sinew tightly around and around the warp so no dye would be able to penetrate. I tied off the second warp in roughly the same place, and slid the wrapped sinew down the warp bundle a little bit until it was precisely lined up with the tied spot on the first warp. (Because I had tied the two warps together 5″ further down, I had a reference point to judge when they were correctly aligned.) Then I tied the warp bundles together to prevent them from slipping past each other, stretched the warp out again, and tied the next mark. This let me keep the two warps lined up throughout the tying process.
I haven’t yet had a chance to dye the warps, since it’s raining and my dye studio is outdoors, but it’s supposed to clear up tomorrow, so hopefully I should be able to get out and test my tied-off warps tomorrow! I can’t wait to see how this turns out.
Here’s a (somewhat blurry) pic of one of the ties and the artificial sinew, which is available from Dharma Trading Company. Artificial sinew is handy for tying because it’s very tough and also slightly sticky, so it’s easy to tie a one-handed knot, and a simple half-knot (like tying the first half of a shoelace bow) will hold it in place when wrapping warps.