Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tartan update

Here is a progress report on the bookbinder's tartan. We met yesterday at Doe's and amazed ourselves by producing cloth that looks just like we hoped it would. The photos are a bit bleached looking because it was a dull day and the flash took away the yellow and green colours, but they give the general idea.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bookbinder's tartan

I stole a beautiful hand bound book from the master bookbinder in Oamaru. In exchange I undertook to make him a length of tartan from handspun naturally dyed wool. I had to enlist the expert help of my friend Doe because I am no weaver. However, I expect to know more by the time this is finished.
For the wool I chose a fleece from one of last year's lambs, a Suffolk/Corriedale cross. The wool is quite fine and spongey with a shortish staple. It's been quite slow to spin.
We dyed it with madder, indigo, safflower and a mix of weld and onion skins. Getting the teal green was the most challenging colour for us but we were pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Dyeing with indigo

The completed colours with a sample of the tartan

Preparing the warp

Starting to warp up the loom