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Posts tagged ‘sheer silk’

Eco-dyeing silk with alum, tea, iron

Today’s experiment took me beyond my comfort zone of familiar eucalyptus.

Scarf 1

Using the golden eucalypt-dyed silk scarf from yesterday’s experiment which turned out very similar to my first attempt, I decided to over-print with some leaves I had on hand.

First of all, I dipped the scarf in an alum solution and ironed it dry.

To this I added tea leaves and kale leaf pieces on half of the scarf.  I folded it and rolled it tightly on a tea tree twig. I tied it tightly with twine (tighter than yesterday  in the hope that if any leaf prints came out, they’d be in better contact with the silk).

Scarf 2

For the second silk scarf, I scattered roibus tea leaves and black tea leaves from my cupboard, and some fresh sage leaves from the herb garden.  I folded this in half and half again several times until I had a small square that I secured with bull-dog clips.

The dye pot

Using an enamel bowl (kindly donated by my lovely neighbour), I boiled 4 teabags and some rusty iron nails, as I wanted to produce a dark brown/black.  For good measure, I added what was left of the alum solution from Scarf 1.

I stood a rusty mozzie (mosquito) coil holder in the pot and put Scarf 1 on top.  I immersed Scarf 2 into the dye liquid.

Black dye pot

Covered enamel dye bath

Covered enamel dye bath

Covering the pot with aluminium foil, I boiled it for a total of 65 minutes.

Then I took them out to cool and at the moment they are hanging up drying.

Two bundles drying in sink

Two bundles drying in sink

I’ll post the results tomorrow.

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New hemmed silk poppy scarf

Hemmed soft, drapable nuno felted silk scarf with poppies at either end.

Hemmed soft, drapable nuno felted silk scarf with poppies at either end.

I was fortunate enough to meet a textile artist the other day who told me where to source hemmed silk scarves in Australia.

I liked that idea because during our summer months the heat and humidity does make the wool on the edging of even my summer scarves a tad warm.  Using hemmed scarves means I can still felt beautiful details and pictures onto the silk, but without ‘hemming’ with wool along the edges to prevent fraying, as I have done up until now.

Of course, I still love my tissue silk and will continue to purchase that as well, because the effect you can get on this lightweight material is gossamer fine.  The hemmed silk scarves I have just obtained are slightly less open weave than the tissue silk, but when I opened the pack, I blew through one and knew that with a tad more rubbing, I could still felt it.

These scarves are gorgeous, with such a sheer lustre to them, I couldn’t wait to felt onto one.

Hemmed silk scarf with nuno felted poppies

Hemmed silk scarf with nuno felted poppies

This morning I set about another poppy scarf as I loved the effect of the original one I made recently.  This one is a slightly different design but still uses fine merino wool as well as silk hankies and tops along with a little Angelina fibre to get that glow that brings light-catching properties to the matt of the wool.

Gawd, I love textile art!

Hemmed silk scarf showeing 3 poppies nuno felted at one end

Hemmed silk scarf showing 3 poppies nuno felted at one end

I figured wispy merino would probably migrate more through the netting during felting than onto the scarf, so I used prefelt pieces ‘stuck’ down with merino rovings, and with the wool and silk details applied on top.

I was right about needing to work it harder, but I reckon the finished effect is well worth the effort. During the felting, some of the red dye from the hand-dyed wool transferred to the white silk scarf, giving it a delicate hint of palest red, which works very well with the bold reds, black and green of the poppies.

Hemmed silk scarf so sheer you can see my hand through it!

Hemmed silk scarf so sheer you can see my hand through it!

The finished scarf is gorgeous! It’s lightweight, sheer, lustrous and has a lovely tailored look with the hand hemmed edges and the felted poppies at each end have a painted effect that I love.  I will definitely be felting the others in a similar way.

Hemmed silk scarf showing nuno felted single poppy at one end

Hemmed silk scarf showing nuno felted single poppy at one end

I reckon this will make someone a delightful Christmas present.  It is one of a kind, and art in textile as well as sumptuous materials, sheer for Australian summer yet warm for winter – that’s the beauty of silk.

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esothemes

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