Sunday, July 6, 2014

Humidifier Bodge

pieces of 'humidifier' - larger bucket with lid and smaller tub to fit inside and the tow linen

bobbins in smaller tub ready to 'steep'

Even though the humidity is 'high' (for us) the singles linen I'm using for weft is wire-y and spring-y and just generally not terribly co-operative.  The only solution is to raise the humidity in the yarn itself.

Generally I have always just wound the bobbins and put them in a plastic bag with a damp cloth.  This works, but sometimes the bobbins touch the damp cloth and get wet themselves so I've always been very careful to wind just enough bobbins for the daily weaving.

However, I have 11 pounds of this stuff - perhaps more in other boxes.  With my weaving pace reduced by the beta-blockers I'm not weaving as quickly as I usually do and I was having trouble gauging how many bobbins I could actually weave in a day.  Not wanting to risk the linen developing mildew, I thought about what else I could do and came up with this.

A tall-ish plastic bucket with a lid, plus a smaller, shorter plastic tub that just fits inside the large one.  There is about .25 of an inch all the way round the smaller tub inside the larger one.

Draw about 3/4" of an inch of warm water and float the smaller tub inside.

Fill the bobbins just level with the flanges.  For two reasons.  One, I'm using low profile shuttles because the AVL shed is narrow so a fat bobbin will rub against the shed ceiling; and Two, a skinnier bobbin will allow the layers near the core more access to absorbing moisture as the upper layers gather moisture into themselves.

Fill the small tub with bobbins and put the lid on (not snapped on, just as a cover) and let 'steep'.

I built two of these, one of which goes by the loom, the other by the bobbin winder.  As I empty the bobbins by the loom I take them to the winder and fill them again, storing them in that humidifier until it's full and the loom one is empty and switch them.

I don't have any worries about the bobbins getting wet and feel confident that I could actually leave the bobbins in the humidifier for several days with no problems.  If I decide it will be too long between winding and using, I will just remove the smaller tub from the bucket until I'm ready to weave again.  Then, the night before I will put the bobbins back in to 'steep'.


barbara said...

Hi Laura,
I thought I did post a message; somehow or other, I don't think it went through. It is great how you think up these solutions to help you weave to the best of your ability. Then to top it off, you share your solutions with the weaving community - which is so wonderful. Thank you!
Weaverly yours ...... Barbara

judy said...

great idea, thanks for sharing

Madeleine Jude said...

Laura, I'm amazed you are weaving at all if you are on Beta Blockers. When my husband was first put on them he was like a doormouse. Just sleepy, sleepy, sleepy. I love this 'solution' of yours. What a brilliant idea!

Anonymous said...

Laura, what a simply perfect solution! Thank you for sharing.

the Mighty M said...

This would be an excellent tool for silk as well. Always a problem with finer silks and humidity.

Louisa said...

Brilliant system, Laura! If you had to leave the bobbins for very long you could always just put the whole shebang in the fridge. They would stay humidified but the cold would help prevent mould from growing too quickly.