Tuesday, February 09, 2010

9 February: 6 of those 5-a-day

Textiles again! This time though, no wool, and no knitting.

With a specific project in mind, I spun some of my non-wool fibres; these had been bought at various times out of curiosity, some (tencel and soy) had been blended with wool and spun, some of the bamboo had been spun and plyed with cotton for knitting.

On the whole, I feel they negate the proper "feel" of wool, and don't care for these fibres in knitting. This project, however, is weaving.

Piles of spun skeins, all beautiful plain white, except the soy, which is a pleasant creamy brown. So out come the Procion dyes, and a morning is spent dyeing a half-dozen skeins. And the results -

The ramie (top left) and bamboo (bottom centre) are similar in texture, but the ramie is slightly shinier; on the negative side, the ramie fibres were very fine and fly-away, and loose ones irritated my eyes and skin. (None of the spun yarns are irritating, it was just those odd fibres that escape while spinning.)

The linen is hard, but very interesting. I found it tricky to spin, but more practice would produce finer and more even yarn. For my current ideas, though, the more "textured" yarn is fine.

The tencel is silky and shiny, and was easy to spin. Depending on how it weaves and wears, this could easily become a favourite.

In the naughty corner on the right are soy (above) and ingeo, or corn fibre (below). The soy is very slightly stained with the green, but the ingeo is as white as it started. All my fault, of course - as they originate from vegetable material, I thought them to be "vegetable fibres", but of course soy is better treated as a protein fibre and dyed with acid dyes, and ingeo apparently needs disperse dyes, which I don't intend to start getting into.

The soy has a lovely silky feel and look, and was easy to spin. The ingeo, while easy to spin, has a definite "plasticky" feel, mildly unpleasant. Unless it turns out to be brilliant in use, I think I may not return to that one.

Out of practice with using Procion dyes, these skeins all came out much too pale for the intended project! So Plan B has gone into action, and plain white handspun linen warp is being woven with some handspun yarn that is wool with some silk. Pictures of that later, perhaps.

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