Painted warps are a study of the interaction of colors within a warp, between warp and weft colors, and in weave structure. We will prepare warp for painting, mix dyes as paints, and paint two warps with Procion fiber-reactive dyes, one to weave into a beautiful, unique fabric and a second to weave at home. Participants will dress a loom, choose weft yarn and weave their lovely colorful scarves. Delightful surprises result when you paint your own warp!

We will have time to paint more than one warp, so bring a second warp to paint. Some participants may have time to paint a third warp, so feel free to bring three warps.

Instructor: Lynn Novotnak

Length: 3 Days

Note:  This class will meet Wednesday afternoon, all day Thursday and Friday, and finish Saturday morning to facilitate dyeing the warp, drying it and weaving with it.

Materials Fee: $24, which includes soda ash and Synthrapol or similar rinsing agent, buckets for soaking warps, sodium alginate for dyes, dyes in many colors, brushes, other painting supplies, paper towels, plastic tarp for tables, plastic wrap to cover the warps to cure, the cost of printing materials, and for each student a binder with class manual (handout), printouts of Procion mixing guides, a Dharma Fiber Reactive Dye Color Chart, and a color wheel. Instructor will bring a number of cones of Tencel in various colors for weft yarns, which, she will wind off for an additional fee based on weight. Instructor will also bring a bobbin winder, 1 drying rack and 3 hair dryers.

Skill Level: Intermediate (must be able to dress a loom).

Equipment & Supplies to Bring:

Required Preparation Prior to Class:

Wind Two Warps

Each warp will consist of 12 warp chains, completely separate from each other (i.e., not wound as one warp separated into inches). Wind each 30- end chain and take it off the warping board or mill before winding the next warp. These 12 separately wound warp chains will be 3 ½ yards long, 30 ends in each chain. Use 8/2 or 10/2 Tencel or rayon, in natural. These warps will be laid out side by side on a long table covered with plastic tarp, with as much distance between each warp chain as space allows, and will be painted separately.

For each individual chain, once it is wound, loosely tie butterfly ties (figure 8) along its length in places where you would otherwise put choke ties. In other words, for each warp to be painted, you will have 12 separate warp chains, each 30 ends, each of which is tied with butterfly ties in about 24” increments down its length. To tie a butterfly tie, separate the 30 warp ends roughly in half, put a piece of yarn between the two halves and wrap each end around its half, to meet back in the middle and tie, so that the warp is secure but not tightly bound as with a choke tie. Since the butterfly tie is loose and easily cut, the knot can be overhand rather than bow. We will soak the warp chains in a preparatory soda ash solution before painting them, and each warp chain needs to be stabilized its entire length so it does not tangle, but not so tightly that it does not soak up the solution. Use another, thicker yarn or thread in natural (no colors) to make the butterfly ties so you can distinguish them from the warp yarn when it comes time to cut them off, after they are painted and dried and you are warping the loom. Cotton string or twine works well, as it is heavier than the Tencel or rayon warp thread and takes up the dye differently. Tie a tight choke at the beginning and the end of each individual chain and on the cross. If you have any questions about this process, please email instructor at lmnovotnak at