Fish Sticks?

Someone remind me that silk is (literally and figuritively) a whole different animal than wool. And remind me especially when when I try to oven dye silk again. (I am assuming that there will be an “again.”) I didn’t have any huge goals in mind! I just wanted to dye 1 3/4 oz. of silk pink, and 3 oz. gray/blue. Well, here are the final products.



And they looked like this before they went into the oven (see the one on the right).silkcomparison I’ll wait for the collective gasp of horror to dye down. Oh, I mean “die” down. (Can you say, “one track mind”?)

As far as I know they’re still usable. They squished down like that when I squeezed the extra water out. I know silk can felt in some way or another, but I’m not sure if it can felt to itself, or just to some other fiber. Anyway, here are some things I learned.

1) Pre-soak the silk at least overnight. No quick thirty minute deals here. Thankfully a very good friend told me about this ahead of time. And as a fun game, when you first put the water in with the silk, the silk floats, so you can send ripples through the silk by swishing the water.

2) If you pour the dye mix on top of the silk, it stays there. Hence the two color look. I’m used to wool, where you pour it on and it soaks right through. No such thing with silk! I’m going to have to lift it up and pour the dye under it as well.

3) If you forget to add the vinegar before you pour the dye, don’t worry. Just mix up a second solution of dye and put in twice as much vinegar. (Through the whole process I was trying to go easy on the vinegar because I’ve heard that too much can damage the silky shine.)

4) Hot silk smells like fish sticks. Old ones. Or, if you prefer another member of the household’s opinion, it smells like baking worms. Not that I know what a baking worm would smell like. (I wonder, can you spin them?)

5) When the silk comes out of the oven . . . wait a minute, did I just think about spinning worms?

6) Anyway, when the silk comes out prepare yourself for a mild heart attack. I squeezed the extra water out of the silk and almost hit the floor. (Witness, the above pictures.)

I’m still waiting for it to dry thoroughly before attempting to spin it. It seems to fluff up fairly well if I gently pull it apart, but we shall see. Thankfully this was tussah silk that I got at a discount at the fiber festival. (Eight ounces for $13!) So I’m not flipping out over a possible mistake. And I’m actually willing to try it again! Maybe after some more research, but I’m up for the challenge.

One Response to Fish Sticks?
  1. Mama Mentor
    December 11, 2008 | 7:38 pm

    I’ll be interested to see how it turns out. Silk is just so dreamy . . .

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