Textile workshop

Saturday afternoon I was treated to a textile workshop here in Breckridge!  How much fun!  I haven’t had much experience with textile work so it was something new to learn.  Yeah for new! 🙂  Out instructor was Theresa Ducayet Clowes and she made it very comfortable and fun to learn.  Our three hour session just flew by!  The first project we undertook was “felting” with wool.  I had seen the materials before but had never seen or experienced the process.  Each of us chose a selection of colors to create our own scarfs with and then began to lay them out in a long row, putting different colored pieces of wool on top of each other in a semi-woven fashion.  Here is a close up picture of my wool as I was laying it out:You could use more or less wool to suit your taste, resulting in a thinner or thicker scarf.  I went for a fairly thick blend, if for no other reason than because I got carried away arranging all the pieces! After you had your entire scarf laid out it was then rolled up around a wooden dowel within the mesh or material that you assembled it on.  Then the work began!  The roll of felt material was put in a tub (with the wood dowel still inside) and then dish washing liquid was squirted on it and it was soaked with hot water (to make the wool shrink and cling to itself).  Once it was cooled down enough to touch you had to roll it back & forth, squeeze it and kneed it for about 20 minutes.  At some point it was unrolled and then rolled up again from the other end to keep the process even, followed by more rolling, kneeding & squeezing.  We had bubbles everywhere and, whew, my fingers and hands got quite a work out! Once it had processed enough and the fibers were all connected then the soap was rinsed out and the scarves were laid out to dry. (Mine is the second one from the left.)

What fun! I love my new “scarf of many colors” and it was great to learn how to do something new.  But wait!  There’s more!  🙂 We also dyed scarves using an old technique (from Japan I think?)…the name of the technique escapes me but modern day tie-dye got it’s origins from it.  We selected a piece of material (I went with a very sheer piece since my first scarf was thick & heavy).  The material was attached to a piece of PVC pipe.  The technique involved wrapping around the material with dental floss (the wax repels the dye).  After you had wrapped around several times you would pull the material to the top of the pipe to scrunch it all together.  It was a bit awkward at first but eventually I got a good rhythm down and got the piece wrapped (with a few extra wraps of floss on the outside for fun).  After you were finished wrapping it up you got to paint the outside of the scarf with dye.  I used two greens and a blue color on mine, painting in a random pattern.  Then we took a hairdryer and used it to “set” the dye in the fabric.  Once that was finished you could either unwrap & rinse your scarf or leave it scrunched together and let it dry for several more hours.  Mine was unwrapped and rinse which gave it a softer color. The pattern was really interesting, very fine lines in between the soft shades of green & blue.  This is a close-up picture to show the detail:I really like the way it turned out! It was a fun afternoon and I am so glad to have been invited to attend, thank you Jenn!  And a big thanks to Theresa for the instruction and guidance! 


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