Beautiful Handpainted Warp Scarves
Whatever fiber-related craft you’re doing, whether it’s knitting, crocheting, or weaving, using handpainted yarn makes it a little extra special. But how can you make the most of that gorgeous yarn? You don’t want to waste even a single yard!
One technique that works especially well for weavers is to use handpainted yarn as you warp and pool your colors. It’s kind of like ikat weaving, in that you carefully place your colors along the warp. Depending on how the warp-threads are painted, you can create stripes, ombré, or more complex effects. It’s all a question of playing and experimenting.
Handwoven has recently released a weaving kit in two colorways that will help teach you how to pool colors in the warp. We’ve done the hard part—actually handpainting yarn for the warp threads—so you can focus on the technique and on the weaving itself.
Both colorways include lovely handpainted Tencel yarn for the warp, and a coordinating hand-dyed solid color for the weft.
Whether you have a 4-shaft or an 8-shaft loom, you can use these kits. On the right, you can see both kitted colorways woven up in the 8-shaft variation. To the right is the 4-shaft version, woven in the colorway from the original Handwoven project.
Once you’ve woven these scarves from the kit, it’s time to try handpainting yarn yourself! Below are some tips from Suzie Liles, who designed the scarves in the kit, to ensure success. Her complete dyeing instructions are included in the magazine that comes along with the Handpainted Warp scarf kits.
- “Stick to three or four colors. In 72” of weaving, that allows you enough 5- to 7-inch repeats of each color to establish a color pattern.”
- “As you dye, beware of color sections bleeding together. To prevent this, wring your warp chains out well after presoaking, and don’t overapply dye, especially at the edges of the color sections.”
- “Be aware that your weft color will visually blend with and affect perception of the other colors. I warped at a denser sett than normal…so that the fabric would be warp-dominant.”
P.S. Have you handpainted warp yarn before? Share your tips in the comments!