just different enough

Can’t say I have much experience dyeing silk and what few encounters I have had with it have been awkward. Mostly I’ve tried to dye silk noils. The little puff balls sit on top of the water and refuse to take up the dye. I know I ought to soak it first, but I just don’t. Add it to my list of personal failings. So when I decided I wanted to dye silk scarves, I can’t say for sure where the notion came from. Part of it was just that I’ve been seeing so many dyed fabrics lately. Dyed fabric has such a different look than dyed fiber. And I knew I wouldn’t have to buy different dyes. Plus I needed a change.

So I went to Dharma Trading and started looking at their wide variety of dyeables. Oh! But even better! I remembered that my dad had abandoned a box of silk scarves at our house some months ago. He hadn’t thought about them for this long, so why not go ahead and use them? As I opened the packages, I was delighted to find six. There were three small squares and three of varying large sizes. Since I had experience dyeing fabric and protein fibers, I figured I didn’t need to read any directions. Just go for it, right? I tied them up and left them in a pot of acid water to soak. When I was ready to dye them, I squeezed out the excess water, laid the bunched up scarves in a glass baking dish, and squirted the various colors around. Then I baked them for about 30 minutes. When they came out, I rinsed them in water before hanging them to dry. With the sun and breeze yesterday, it took just minutes! I’ll probably give them a proper Eucalan bath later.

I’ll admit, I got distracted. Playing with something new was much more exciting than dyeing yet more roving. I happily abandoned my pots on the stove to admire the scarves as they blew in the breeze. What am I going to do with these? Who cares? Everyone is getting a silk scarf for Christmas.

silk scarves

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