January 22, 2012

ARGGH!  My beautiful looper rug!  The loopers in my rug, when I washed it, bled.  The overall color faded as a result.  Major bummer!  That meant that my loopers are not now washer safe.  They used to be.  When I was getting ready to start selling my hand-dyed loopers, I researched dyes and made several sample dye baths.  The kind of dye I decided to use was the least costly and most convenient to use.  And, none of the loopers or potholders bled!  Now, they do.  Bummer!

So, I set up a little science project in my kitchen window.  I wanted to see which of the colors was bleeding and if the bleeding was caused by my failure to rinse off the unused dye.  I filled 16 glasses with hot soapy water and added 3 loops to each glass, 1 glass per color of looper. Then, I waited to see what would happen.  1 hour later, all 16 glass has colored water.  Dang!  So, I emptied the glasses and manually washed each looper by color with hot soapy water and rinsed them over and over and over until the color stopped.  Then, I set the glasses up again.  1 hour later....more colored water.  Double Dang!

Then, I went online and found the culprit - the dye maker has recently changed their dye formula. (That would have been nice info to have, when it happened!) There is a fix, though.  Thank goodness!  Anything that has been dyed with this product can be washed in a "dye fixer".  After that, as long as the item is washed in cold, and never in hot water, the dye will no longer bleed.   

So, here's my solution.  I'm spending this weekend treating my existing loose loopers and all of the looper-made items.  After my first load, I put my science project back up on my window sill.  YIPPEE! No bleeding!  I'm going to write to my looper customers and let them know that I'm sending them some of the dye fixer and how to use it.

From here forward, I well be dying with a fiber reactive, color-fast, dye. 

For those experiencing something similar to my story, here is where I found the answers I needed.  It's a terrific site.


My rug still on the loom

After it's first wash.


January 4, 2012


I am weaving a rather pretty looper rug on the AVL, thanks to the suggestion from LouAnn. I also had to change the way I beat the rug.  I have to "Pull" on it, rather than "Beat" on it, in order to keep the tension.  So far, she measures 37 inches wide and 15 inched deep.

January 3, 2012

I'm finally weaving on the AVL! I decided to try the sticky beam first, before trying to use the automatic cloth advance system. (I've been fascinated with being able to cut off my project without having to retie everything, since I took my first tour of Churchill Weavers in Berea, KY.) That is what has always attracted me to the AVL. So, I wove a few inches of simple plain weave using a fine variegated weft.  You can tell how great she is by the way she lays in the weft.  All I did was one light beat and the thread was in the right place.

 But, then I shifted to the loopers.  I had tension troubles immediately.  The warp became loose.  I tried to tighten it up and it just rolled forward more.  So, I went to the rear and manually rolled the warp beam back.  It rolled forward again as soon as I let it go!  Shee!

And, then there was the drawing in from the loopers.  I used my temple  with the finer thread, but it wouldn't hold the loopers.  I guess they're just too thick.  I got so frustrated that I cut it all off and went about fixing a couple of threading problems I had found.

Once I had that done, I re-"tied" the warp to the sticky beam (This part is just so cool!), being careful this time to really make the warp tight, and wove an inch or so before rolling the warp forward a bit more to lock it in place.

Gary tightened the rear spring that is attached to the tensioning device and also tied the secondary weight up with the primary weight to add more weight.  That made the warp's tension much better.  By then, it was after midnight, so we called it a night.
Today was Tuesday Weavers day.  I love Tuesdays!  I always come home,  ready to weave a storm.  Full of new ideas.  Today was no different.  LouAnn suggested I try another thing to help with the tension.  She suggested that I put the lease sticks back into the rear warp.  Such a great idea! Thank you, LouAnn.

Here is where I am now.  The AVL is sitting there waiting for me, calling my name!  She's ready.  I had to jump on my computer and my phone as soon as I returned from the center and worked steadily until a few minutes ago.  It was a very productive work day!

Once I get our dinner cooking on the stove, I'm heading back to the family room to answer the AVL's call!  We're going to insert the lease sticks and give the loopers another chance!  Cross your fingers and toes!!!

I finally started weaving on the AVL yesterday evening.  I started out using a fine weft thread. She weaves so smoothly.  The tension worked great after my first few shots.  I had to get up and tighten up the warp from the rear of the loom a few times, though.  It went from having a firm tension to really loose and hanging all on its own.

Then, I switched from the fine weft thread to a chain of loopers.  I would reallly love to make large looper rugs on this loom.  Weaving with the loopers proved to be really rough.  The loose tension won't let me beat the weft as tightly as you need it beat to form a good rug.  So, I cut off what I had woven and have now wound up the warp on the sticky beam again, much tighter this time.  I have also tied both of the tension arms together to provide a stronger weight on the warp beam.  I hope this will do what I need it to.

Blog Archive