Weaving and Spinning
Importance of the tie dying method:
The ties prevent the dye from affecting the thread underneath them, just like simply tie-dying does. The pattern is then revealed as the vertical and horizontal threads are woven together. Mudmee threads are not tied and dyed individually. The mudmee thread is carefully looped across a surface or board that is proportional to the desired width of the fabric. The pattern maker then will tie together a group of threads at precise intervals to create and replicate the desired mudmee pattern.
The problem with natural dying:
Natural dyes are far more expensive than commercial ones and you can’t wash or clean the mudmee without severely washing away the color, and therefore ruining your exquisite fabric.
Traditional method of mudmee weaving:
Mudmee is produced through the traditional method of tying in the desired pattern with straw, hay or banana ropes. The ropes stop water from affecting the silk or cotton yarns, whilst dyeing it in the process. The tied yarns move through the dyeing process, but only the untied yarns absorb the dye. The method is repeated as many times as necessary, depending on the preferred colour variations. Afterwards, each silk or cotton yarn is woven to create a variety of designs, combining the coloured areas to produce patterns. The mudmee motifs are based on the varieties of patterns and lines. There are three motif variations: weft mudmee, warp mudmee and double mudmee.
Traditional equipment for mudmee weaving:
Traditional weaving equipment consists of a reel for spinning the silk, a wooden frame for silk spun by hand, a blade for fixing the silk, a wooden wheel and a wooden loom. The traditional equipment has been developed by reinforcing the wooden frame with steel and adding a motor for spinning. The production process remains the same as the past. The weft fibres are prepared for pattern blending. The silk is then purified and spun. The weft fibres are arranged by length along the reed of the loom. The specifications for the weft are set for making specific patterns. The mudmee frame is then filled and the silk is blended with other dyed fibres to create patterns and spun. The blended fibres are finally woven into a fabric using a loom.