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2020 Weaving & Dyeing Workshops by Kathrin Weber

Thank you for your interest in scheduling me to teach workshops for your guild, group or conference!

A few words about my approach to teaching: My workshops are colorful and playful. We explore nontraditional techniques designing, setup and weaving using hand-dyed warps that shade in color – sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically. I bring a wide variety of hand-dyed warps to each workshop for students to choose from. Since no two warps are the same, no two projects are the same. Working within the focus of the class topic, each student designs, sets up and weaves unique fabric.

I limit the weaving workshops to 10 students and dyeing workshops to 14 which enables me to work closely with the group as well as with each individual. When a member of the group discovers an aspect of her project that is new and exciting, students who are not actively threading are encouraged to come see what is happening. We talk about it, absorb it and share it. When a member of the group has a difficult situation that has been successfully and creatively resolved, students who are not actively threading are encouraged to come see what the challenge was and how we moved through it. Each member of the class learns from the experiences of the others. Each member of the class is able to make creative decisions based on the group’s discoveries and enthusiasm.

Lecture Program for Guild Meeting: Seeing Color in Everything

This talk with power point images from my world, garden and fiber art is designed to help fiber artists feel more comfortable making fearless choices when using color in their work by paying attention to the colors around them. In addition to digital images, I bring a piece of my weaving and/or dye work. I talk about the choices I made in color and technique in designing that particular piece. This is a stand alone lecture, but works very well as a lead-in to my weaving and dyeing workshops.

Lecture Fee: $250 with workshop. $350 without workshop plus travel expense: flight or current mileage, housing (with guild member is fine), meals.

Copper Green Inspiration DSCN3343

Weaving Workshops: Controlling Creative Chaos

Exploring Turned Taquete (and other structures) with Space-Dyed Warps

Teaching Fee: $600/day plus travel, shipping of materials (if required), room, and board.

Students learn non-traditional techniques that allow them to work smoothly with multiple warps and to design with diverse warp elements at the loom. They will use instructor provided hand-painted warps in which the colors flow and change, creating designs in the woven fabric that appear complex in planning, but actually spring from making flexible and intuitive decisions as they work. Students will work seamlessly with multiple warp chains to create alternating color sequences used in Turned Taquete and other weave structures. They might choose to flip sections of the warp from end to end which creates color flow in opposite directions. They might choose to shift the warps to create patterns that flow in the weaving lengthwise as well as horizontally. This workshop is appropriate for 4 harness and 8 harness looms. No two warps or designs will be alike so class members learn from their own projects as well as from the others. Weavers with more experience will be able to take their designs to more complex levels.

The goal for this workshop is to learn to design effectively and efficiently with multiple warp chains which aid in creative designing at the loom, and to develop new techniques for more spontaneity and confidence in the creation of fabric. Students will enjoy a non-traditional approach to Turned Taquete, but many more options will be explored as well.

In this workshop we start the designing process tying on to a 300 thread dummy warp that students have threaded before class. Tying on can be a time saver, an eye saver and a method to approach design techniques at the loom as opposed to on a computer or pen and paper. This workshop is not suitable for rigid heddle looms.

Tools Students Should Bring:
Personal weaving tools: decent full size scissors, tape measure, threading hooks, two shuttles (boat for fine weft and ski or rag for heavy weft), appropriate sticks or paper for winding 4.5 yard warp
Fine Point Black Sharpie Pen
2 spring clamps big enough to clip onto your back beam (As long as there are several pairs in the room, that will be enough to share. We don’t really need a set for every single person.)
Roll of 1″ masking tape (yellow. light green, or light blue painters masking tape are best choices.)
Notebooks, pens for notes and handouts.
Guild should provide:
2 long tables for teacher materials and samples.
Screen, projector, laptop for power point presentation. I will bring power point on USB flash drive.

Dummy Warp Info: 

In the weaving workshop we start the designing process while tying on to a dummy warp at the loom. Tying on can be a time saver, an eye saver and a method to approach design techniques at the loom as opposed to on a computer or pen and paper. This will be one of the topics we explore. To prepare for this workshop please thread your loom with a dummy warp. A dummy warp is just a short warp not meant to be woven, but used to tie your primary warp threads to. Set up by whatever method is comfortable and familiar for you. I give info on how you might approach it here, but please feel free to improvise as long as you end up with a mistake free short warp of 1 yard or less which is secured to the back rod (dummy threads should not be simply looped around a back rod.)

Notes on Dummy Warps: A dummy warp is a warp that is threaded through the heddles and the reed and secured to the back rod but is not long enough to actually weave. We will use the dummy warps to tie onto. If you haven’t used the tie on technique before, this will be another aspect you can look forward to learning. If you are not changing your threading pattern with every project, tying on can be a time saver and sight saver. For me, it is a valuable design tool, too.

How to start a dummy warp?
Wind the dummy warp threads a generous 1 yard length. (You will thread your reed, your heddles, secure on the back rod and tension onto the front rod. You can do this front to back or back to front in whatever order or method works best for you.  Weave an inch or so to check for errors. Time spent re-threading errors will take valuable time away from your workshop experience. Leave it that way for safe traveling.)

What to use?
Use inexpensive yarn. It needs to be small enough that it will pull through the reed and heddles after it is tied to another thread. It needs to be strong enough not to break during that action. The dummy warp will end up being loom wastage so it doesn’t matter the color or fiber content. Strong 8/2, 10/2 or carpet warp (8/4) work well.

How many?
You should have 300 threads in your dummy.

What threading?
A straight draw using all your shafts will give you many design options. If you have 8 shafts and would like to use a more complex threading, I will send the draft before class.

What sett?
These projects may be warp-predominant in order to showcase the hand-dyed warp yarns. You might choose to do a light weight fabric or a dense fabric. Please use a 10 or 12 dent reed. Sley the reed two ends per dent and one thread per heddle. That will mean that you have it sett at 20 epi or 24 epi.

Weft material?
Since we don’t know which warps or which projects you will choose, it is hard to know exactly what you should bring for weft. The warps are usually sett either warp faced or at least a bit on the warp predominant side so the weft is less of a consideration than it might be otherwise. This is a guild workshop so many of you will be traveling from home each day. After the initial workshop day, you can look through your yarn on hand to decide what to bring. It is safe to say bring anything you have in black cotton or rayon. If you don’t have any, you might choose to go ahead and get a few spools of 8/4 black carpet warp. I find that is very useful in many of my projects.

Don’t stress over this. Keep it simple.

jills big blueberry workshop 1 workshop 2
DSCN9141 Carol Irelands Repp frm workshop Carol Irelands scarf from Repp Weave
 Rudells Smokin'!  9 Student DSCN1698
 DSCN1537  DSCN1514_1  21
13 Student Student Work-1 DSCN0853
DSCN8810 DSCN6095 Cindy Jean - GLWG Project
lindas love Amandas bag-1 DSCN2304
Kathrin Samples DSCN9209 DSCN9208


Dyeing Workshop: Not Your Grandma’s Dye-Pot!

Teaching Fee: $600/day plus travel, shipping of materials (if required), room, and board.

The goal for this dyeing workshop is to learn the basics for dyeing full rich color in cellulose yarn (cotton, rayon, linen, etc.), dyeing safely, traditional as well as non-traditional application of dyes, and processes needed to set the dyes for color fastness. Students will learn fundamentals for dye application to produce one of a kind, technically sound and color-fast hand-dyed cotton yarn and fabric. Students will learn techniques for space-dyeing skeins and warps, resist dyeing yarn, and how to set up a basic dye kitchen. And, beyond that, to learn to dye with personal fearlessness and intention.

We will discuss and explore a wide variety of ways to layout warps to be dyed – each layout giving a different result for what will turn into woven fabric. This is not a “recipe” class. Using 7 hues of Fiber Reactive MX dyes students will begin to develop insight into the essence of color that allows them to blend, shade and produce a full spectrum of color. Students will begin this dye class creating a full spectrum of dye samples to take home for for future reference.

Tools Students should bring to the Dye Class:

Rubber gloves
Masking tape
Dust mask
Spray bottle
Metal whisk
Plastic kitchen trash bags (approx 13 gallon size)
Paper towels
Thrums for tying and binding yarn
Apron/old clothes to wear while dyeing
Small plastic cups (i.e.: yogurt or cottage cheese containers)
Quart size plastic containers (i.e.: large yogurt containers or deli containers.)
Measuring spoons and cups (never to be used with food preparations again!)
Several inch stack of newspaper (This is not optional.)
1 to 2 gallon bucket

Notebook/folder/pen/pencil for handouts and notes

Guild Should Provide:
Space (large enough for dyers to be happy and messy)
Plastic sheeting to protect tables
Tables (2 students per long table) + 2 Tables for Instructor’s materials and demos.
Hot Tap Water Source

Material to bring for dyeing in class: Students will bring several cotton (or other cellulose) warps and/or skeins wound, scoured and ready to dye. Students may choose to dye a few with great care or a dozen with fearless playfulness. The warps/skeins can any weight up to 12 oz each. If a student would like to dye fewer but larger warps/skeins, that if fine, too. Remember that cellulose includes Cotton, Rayon, Bamboo, Linen, Hemp, etc. All of those will dye. Also bring some plant based fabric if you would like to dye cloth. Please do not come planning on dyeing wool or silk as your main focus, but bring along a skein or two if you would like to try them.

Optional Instructor provided materials: I can provide pre-wound warps and skeins for those of you who want to supplement your supply. Please order through my webshop at least 2 weeks before the workshop. They will be shipped to you before class.

Notes on Scouring Yarn/Material to Dye: Scouring is essential to allow the yarn/fabric to accept dye, but it does not have to be complicated. Here is what I do:

Use HOT water (140*F), A dash of Dawn dish soap (or Synthrapol if you have it). Do not use anything with bleach or brighteners. Wind your yarn into warps or skeins. Loosely tie them with figure 8 security ties. Without tangling, manipulate and squeeze the yarn to work the hot soapy water into all the fibers and under the security ties. When the yarn is completely saturated and falls to the bottom of bucket (or washing machine) it is done. If something on your yarn is resisting the hot soapy water, you can add 1/4 cup of dissolved Arm and Hammer Washing Soda to the hot soapy water to increase the scouring power. If you have extremely stubborn yarn, you can boil it in the soapy, soda ash water. Rinse well. All this can be done in a washing machine using the fill and spin cycles, but do not agitate! .

Cotton yarn and fabric definitely has to be scoured. This includes cotton yarn purchased from me.

Hand-dyed Rainbow Warp 5-DSCN9431 DSCN9378
Rose and Blueberry Combo DSCN9249 1-DSCN9404

Kathrin Weber’s Bio:

Kathrin Weber has been a full-time studio fiber artist since 1980. Her work revolves around dyeing, weaving and teaching. She has a fearless enjoyment in using color in her line of space-dyed, handwoven blankets. She enthusiastically encourages student to dive into color. No matter what her classes are officially entitled, they are ultimately about color, technique and weaving good fabric.

Kathrin is an active member in The Southern Highland Handcraft Guild, Piedmont Craft Guild, and Carolina Designer Crafts Guild. She has a strong belief in encouraging technical proficiency and personal design. She served 6 years on the Standards Committee for Southern Highland Guild, was recently the Chair of Standards for Piedmont Crafts Guild. She teaches at Penland, Arrowmont, John C. Campbell Folk School, Fiber Guilds and Fiber Conferences across the country.

“My goal in my work, as well as for my students’ work, is to design and weave well made personal fabric using efficient techniques in set up, weaving and finishing. I approach designing and weaving with more anticipation of unfolding possibilities and less rigid pre-determination of final product. This approach leads to a creative flow of physical time spent at the loom and to weaving projects that leave the door open to fabrics that are beyond  original intent and planning.”

3 ACC 2006 - Tropical (overall)-1 max forest 9 Autumn screen penland

Dyeing and Weaving workshops and lectures:

Conferences: SouthEastern Fiber Forum, Western NC 1998, 2009, 2013; Intermountain Weavers Conference, Durango, Colorado 2009; Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair, Fletcher, NC 2011, 2012; Arizona Federation Conference – Fibers Through Time, Tucson, AZ 2014; FL Tropical Weavers’ Conference 2015. Contracted to teach at Michigan League of Handweavers’ Conference June 2015 and The Conference of Northern California Handweavers (CNCH) April 2016; MidAtlantic Conference (MAFA) July 2017; MidWest Weavers Conference 2018, Convergence scheduled 2020.  And more.

Guilds: Mary Meigs Atwater Weavers Guild, Las Vegas, Nevada; The Southern Nevada Weavers and Spinners Guild, Salt Lake City, Utah; Chattahoochee Fiber Guild, Atlanta, GA; Peachtree Handspinners, Atlanta, GA; Weaving Guild of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, MI; Memphis Handweavers, Memphis, TN; OverMountain Weavers Guild, Kingsport, TN; Telarana Weavers and Spinner Guild, AZ; Palomar Handweavers’ Guild, Escondido, CA; Woodstock Weavers Guild, Woodstock, IL; Harmony Weaver’s Guild, Wilmington, DE; Weavin’ Place – SAORI Style, Folsom, LA; Greater Lansing Weavers Guild, Lansing, Michigan; Weavers of Orlando, Orlando, FL; Jacksonville Weavers’ Guild, Jacksonville, FL; Seattle Weavers Guild; Central Coast Weavers, CA, Mother Lode Spinners and Weavers, CA, Black Sheep Weavers, CA. And more.

Schools: Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC; John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC; Arrowmont School of Art and Craft, Gatlinburg, TN; Appalachian Center for Crafts, Smithville, TN ; Miami University, CraftSummer, Oxford, OH; Haywood Professional Crafts, Clyde, NC, Peter’s Valley School of Craft.