Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmas 2015 at George Weil

A great atmosphere here today at George Weil as we share ginger bread men, wear Christmas jumpers and surprise each other with a Secret Santa.


Here are some of the staff enjoying the festivities (Left to right, Julie, Allison, Liam, and Jo)


Special guest Felix sported his Christmas jumper too!


We would like to take this opportunity to wish our customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Kathe Todd-Hooker Books

Thank you Kathe for posting the following in the Tapestry2005 yahoo group:

"My books have been available in Europe through Amazon and Fine Fiber Press for years, but because they were sent by US Mail it sometimes doubled or almost doubled the cost of the books. That problems is now solved because www.georgeweil.com GEORGE WEIL & SONS LT- Fine Fiber Press and Between & ETC. are now carrying the books. So am suggesting that if you are in the UK and want to purchase my books and have found the shipping and handling prohibitively expensive there is now a solution. We were just getting ready to announce this on our new webpages that are being designed, but aren't quite ready. But,...because of so many inquires about the books in the UK and Europe... Anyway Thank you all, kathe"

Monday, 28 September 2015

Macmillan Coffee Morning at George Weil

Thank you to everyone who joined us for coffee and cake on Friday. We managed to raise £90 for Macmillan Cancer Support and got to meet some very nice people and eat lots of lovely goodies while doing it!

Cake certainly does taste better together.


Friday, 3 July 2015

Fibrecrafts Turquoise Blue Natural Dye & Forest Green Natural Dye

Soluble natural dyes derived from fermented natural indigo and alkanet.

The Turquoise Blue natural dye gives a good blue, and at lower concentrations provides a fine teal green, while the Forest Green, which also contains fermented pomegranate, produces a deep green.

The dyes are sold in 25g sachets and 10g will dye 100g of materials to the full colour achievable.

Our photographs of dyed wool yarn illustrate the variations in colours that can be achieved. Turquoise Blue photo top, Forest Green photo bottom.

Dyeing wool or silk with the dye colour follows the two normal steps for dyeing with a naturally occurring dyestuff: mordanting and then dyeing. First ensure that the material is properly scoured and then wetted for around 2 hours before mordanting and squeezed to remove the excess liquid.

Mordanting 

Use alum mordant at 10% by weight of goods and dissolve it in hot water. Place this solution to one side.

For 100g of dry material use around two litres (i.e. about 20 times the weight of material) of water and add a small quantity of citric or acetic acid (vinegar) to the water to achieve 4pH.

Heat the pan to 60°C and add the alum solution and stir well. Then add the 100g wetted material to the mordant pan and stir slowly every 5-10 minutes for up to an hour.

Dyeing 

To develop the colour for 100g material use 10g of Turquoise Blue Natural Dye or Forest Green Natural Dye dissolved in a small amount of hot water. Pass the solution through a coffee filter or fine sieve to remove any undissolved dye and place solution to one side.

Use two litres (i.e. about 20 times of dyeing material) of water and, importantly, add Citric Acid or Vinegar to give the water a pH level of 2.

Heat the liquid to 60°C and add the solution of dissolved dye. Add the 100g of mordanted material (with the alum mordant solution squeezed out) turning the material carefully whilst the pan is taken to boiling. Keep the temperature at 100°C for a further 45 minutes without agitating the material and then switch off.

Wash the material to remove unfixed dye particles from the material and allowed to dry.

Visit the website to view the Fibrecrafts range of natural dyes


Fibrecrafts Turquoise Blue Natural Dye & Forest Green Natural Dye

Soluble natural dyes derived from fermented natural indigo and alkanet.

The Turquoise Blue natural dye gives a good blue, and at lower concentrations provides a fine teal green, while the Forest Green, which also contains fermented pomegranate, produces a deep green.

The dyes are sold in 25g sachets and 10g will dye 100g of materials to the full colour achievable.

Our photographs of dyed wool yarn illustrate the variations in colours that can be achieved. Turquoise Blue photo top, Forest Green photo bottom.

Dyeing wool or silk with the dye colour follows the two normal steps for dyeing with a naturally occurring dyestuff: mordanting and then dyeing. First ensure that the material is properly scoured and then wetted for around 2 hours before mordanting and squeezed to remove the excess liquid.

Mordanting 

Use alum mordant at 10% by weight of goods and dissolve it in hot water. Place this solution to one side.

For 100g of dry material use around two litres (i.e. about 20 times the weight of material) of water and add a small quantity of citric or acetic acid (vinegar) to the water to achieve 4pH.

Heat the pan to 60°C and add the alum solution and stir well. Then add the 100g wetted material to the mordant pan and stir slowly every 5-10 minutes for up to an hour.

Dyeing 

To develop the colour for 100g material use 10g of Turquoise Blue Natural Dye or Forest Green Natural Dye dissolved in a small amount of hot water. Pass the solution through a coffee filter or fine sieve to remove any undissolved dye and place solution to one side.

Use two litres (i.e. about 20 times of dyeing material) of water and, importantly, add Citric Acid or Vinegar to give the water a pH level of 2.

Heat the liquid to 60°C and add the solution of dissolved dye. Add the 100g of mordanted material (with the alum mordant solution squeezed out) turning the material carefully whilst the pan is taken to boiling. Keep the temperature at 100°C for a further 45 minutes without agitating the material and then switch off.

Wash the material to remove unfixed dye particles from the material and allowed to dry.

Visit the website to view the Fibrecrafts range of natural dyes


Fibrecrafts Turquoise Blue Natural Dye & Forest Green Natural Dye

Soluble natural dyes derived from fermented natural indigo and alkanet.

The Turquoise Blue natural dye gives a good blue, and at lower concentrations provides a fine teal green, while the Forest Green, which also contains fermented pomegranate, produces a deep green.

The dyes are sold in 25g sachets and 10g will dye 100g of materials to the full colour achievable.

Our photographs of dyed wool yarn illustrate the variations in colours that can be achieved. Turquoise Blue photo top, Forest Green photo bottom.

Dyeing wool or silk with the dye colour follows the two normal steps for dyeing with a naturally occurring dyestuff: mordanting and then dyeing. First ensure that the material is properly scoured and then wetted for around 2 hours before mordanting and squeezed to remove the excess liquid.

Mordanting 

Use alum mordant at 10% by weight of goods and dissolve it in hot water. Place this solution to one side.

For 100g of dry material use around two litres (i.e. about 20 times the weight of material) of water and add a small quantity of citric or acetic acid (vinegar) to the water to achieve 4pH.

Heat the pan to 60°C and add the alum solution and stir well. Then add the 100g wetted material to the mordant pan and heat to boiling. This should be kept at 100°C for 45 minutes. The heat is then switched off and the material is left in the pan to come down to 60°C before removing.

Dyeing 

To develop the colour for 100g material use 10g of Turquoise Blue Natural Dye or Forest Green Natural Dye dissolved in a small amount of hot water. Pass the solution through a coffee filter or fine sieve to remove any undissolved dye and place solution to one side.

Use two litres (i.e. about 20 times of dyeing material) of water and add Citric Acid or Vinegar to give the water a pH level of 2.

Heat the liquid to 60°C and add the solution of dissolved dye. Add the 100g of mordanted material (with the alum mordant solution squeezed out) turning the material carefully whilst the pan is taken to boiling. Keep the temperature at 100°C for 45 minutes and then switch off.

Wash the material to remove unfixed dye particles from the material and allowed to dry.

Visit the website to view the Fibrecrafts range of natural dyes


Monday, 29 June 2015

Solar Fast Dyes - Catching some rays

Dyes to Print using the Sun
Need something fun to do in the sun? Make the most of the bright sunshine to create detailed prints without a camera!

Jacquard Solar Fast dyes are used to create photograms, continuous tone photographs, shadow prints, and ombr├Ęs on fabric and paper. They develop their colour and become permanent upon exposure to UV light, most easily sourced from the summer sun.

How do Solar Fast Dyes work?

The dyes are activated when exposed to sunlight, this means that anything that blocks the light from reaching the fabric or paper will cause no colour change in the dye, much like the Cyanotype Blue Printing.

Designs do not have to be complex in order to achieve a brilliant effect. Children will have fun printing anything from keys and leaves, to nuts and bolts. The Solar Fast dyes are available in a wide range of colours, and when painted onto different tones of material can produce interesting results. Please note; anything placed on top of the Solar Fast dye must be as flat and level as possible. If printing in the early hours or in the evening, the sun will create a long shadow from the object and create a distorted, or blurry print.

Printing photographs with Solar Fast


Print photographs from negatives
It is possible to make a print from a photograph using Solar Fast Film. This helpful product is inkjet printable and gives you the option to print photos from a computer. The film is transparent and will allow different levels of light through to the dye beneath, depending on how dark or light the image is. To create a good copy you will need to choose an image with good tonal variety, and for the purist a negative of the image can be produced with photo editing software.

Screen Printing with Solar Fast

Jacquard also offer a Solar Fast Thickener which when mixed with Solar Fast dye increases its viscosity to a point where it can be used with a printing screen. Experienced screen printers will love the different effects they can achieve using this in conjunction with other types of media.

Finishing your Print

Prints are permanent on both paper and fabric but textiles will need to be washed before they are worn or exposed to more sunlight. Use Solar Fast wash to remove the residue of undeveloped dye from prints to prevent the colours from running.  This is especially important for preserving white areas and highlights.

You can learn more about how to use the Jacquard Solar Fast dyes from this PDF created by the manufacturer, and results for light exposure times for each colour can be viewed here.


Please visit the Light Sensitive Printing section of the George Weil website to get started with Solar Fast printing.


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Spinning Wheel Restoration

We really appreciate this letter we received from a customer in Scotland and the story behind the photographs she sent us.

"Enclosed is a before and after photo you kindly helped try to find a bobbin for to fit this 24" Norwegian Wheel - I have now met the lady owner from Iceland, who confirms that it belonged to her great grandmother, so must be in excess of 100 years plus."

"We have a good friend professional wood turner who has made 2 more bobbins [made from the dimensions of the bobbin she already had], my husband has completely restored/balanced this lovely wheel - giving her lessons myself, enrolled in the Dumfries Spinning Guild (with over 40 members meeting once a month)."

"In conclusion, your company will be quietly distributed in South West Scotland, as very helpful to keep us spinning."

Although we were unable to find new bobbins that matched the original bobbin, we suggested that she have them made by a wood turner and supplied her with contact details of a professional we have used in the past.  This feedback inspired the lady to contact her friend to make the bobbins.  We were able to help further, the reconditioned wheel now sports an Ashford Drive Band and replacement flyer hooks and its smooth running is assisted by the purchase of an Ashford Oil Bottle.

Spinning wheel waiting to be restored

Before

The spinning wheel is restored and now working

After

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Tapestry Weaving in the Falkland Islands

Thanks to the wondrous invention of the world wide web, George Weil receive orders for craft tools and materials from all over the world. One of the furthest delivery destinations is the Falkland Islands and although it is more than 8,000 miles away, there has never been a lost parcel yet!

Our sales manager Jo has built up quite a 'close' relationship with our Falklander who has been ordering from George Weil for a number of years.  With the convenience of email, their conversations about life in the Falklands and here in the UK, has even lead to Jo receiving a parcel back - chewable toys for Jo's boxer puppies!

The latest email missives have included photo attachments showing how our customer has used all the lovely craft items we have been sending to her.  She has given us her kind permission to use the images but has asked to remain anonymous.

Tapestry of sheep in the Falkland Islands

 Tapestry on the Glimakra Tapestry Frame using hand-dyed
Falkland wool.

Wool dyed with natural dyes

The wool has been dyed using our natural dyes plus some of the local plants on the island.

Tapestry of Rockhopper Pengiuns in the Falkland Islands

The image above shows the subtle colours used to create this tapestry of the stunning views on the Falkland Islands

Silk throwsters waste coloured with silk paints

Parts of the vegetation have been created using silk throwsters waste coloured with silk paints.  This adds texture to the tapestry and an extra dimension in the silk painting of the fish below. 

Fish painted on silk fabric

Tapestry of Gentoo penguins in the Falklands

Gentoo penguins on the beach above and Rockhopper penguins below

Rockhopper penguins, rock hopping in the Falklands!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Rubbers and Erasers for Artists

There are a huge range of artists rubbers and erasers available on the market today, each with unique qualities to suit different situations and art styles. Here is a short overview of some of the types of eraser and brands we stock here at George Weil.

Natural Indian Rubber EraserNatural Rubber Erasers

The Daler Rowney Mystic Eraser is made from India rubber, harvested in the form of latex by tapping trees. Natural rubber erasers are flexible and soft, meaning they are useful on delicate papers and canvases. Natural rubber degrades with time, and will perish unless it is vulcanised.

Before the invention of vulcanisation to cure rubber and make it a feasible material, people used rolled pieces of white bread to rub away mistakes or lighten markings on their work.

Synthetic Rubber Erasers

Synthetic rubber erasers are the most commonly used erasers for day to day correction and are probably the 'rubbers' you remember from school. They come in a variety of shapes and colours, and are almost always the type of rubber you find attached to the end of your pencil.


Soft Vinyl Eraser Soft Vinyl Erasers

Soft vinyl erasers, also known as plastic erasers, are more specialised for removing light marks and for precision erasing. They are soft and non-abrasive, making them less likely to damage canvas or paper and erase cleaner in small areas than standard synthetic rubber erasers.

Modern examples of vinyl erasers include the Pentel Clic Eraser Pen, a refillable eraser holder which retracts the eraser tip. This concept has been taken further by companies like Jakar and Derwent who make a battery operated eraser tip, that spins inside the handle to allow for precision corrections.

Electric rotating eraser pen
The Derwent battery operated eraser
Medium Kneaded EraserKneaded Erasers

Kneaded erasers, or putty rubbers, are the artists choice when it comes to graphite, charcoal and soft pastel removal. The texture of a kneaded eraser is similar to gum, and can be manipulated into any shape required by the user. This type of eraser does not wear away and crumble like others do because drawing dust is picked up and absorbed into them. The rubber will eventually reach a point where it becomes saturated with debris and begin to make marks rather than remove them. Kneaded erasers are available in different levels of hardness, ranging from the super soft to very firm.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Learn How to Knit - Casting On

There are a number of ways to cast on. This method creates a chain of knit stitches on the needle.

Once you have mastered this method of casting on, you are not far off learning the knit stitch (also known as the garter stitch). With this basic stitch you will be able to knit a scarf, fabric blocks, cushion covers, a bag and more.

We have used a chunky yarn and size 12 Surina Knitting Needles and the instructions are for right handed knitters!

1. Make a loop and tie with a slip knot ~


2. Put the loop onto the left hand needle and push the right hand needle into the loop from underneath. Bring the yarn around from the right, underneath the bottom needle and up over between the cross ~


3. Now for the hard bit, and not very easy to illustrate. With the bottom needle, use the point to pull the yarn through the slip loop ~


4. Gently pull the loop formed on the top (right hand) needle and transfer it to the left hand needle ~


5. Push the right hand needle into the new loop and repeat the steps above until you have a row of 10 stitches on your needle ~


6. Now you are ready to learn the knit stitch...



Many of the knitting books featured on this site include information on the different stitches as well as guidance on how to understand knitting patterns and the terms used in this craft. 


Monday, 9 February 2015

Strange Activity (or none at all!)?

We wanted to let you know that work has commenced on our new website.  We have a vast amount of data to move around and get right so you won't see any changes until later in the year.

Two of the areas we want to improve are the Blog and the Fact File pages.  We want you to be able to find what you're looking for quickly and easily. 

Subscribers may receive duplicate Blog posts or none at all for the next few months but please bear with us while we get this area of the website working properly.