Silk Nuno Samples

Silk Nuno Samples

I bought some silk fabric from a seller on ebay quite a while ago. It was listed as Silk Organza and it felt ‘stiff’ like some of the thicker synthetic organzas can, but was even stiffer. It kind of ‘bent’ rather than folded! I mentioned it on the forum and after suggestions decided the best thing to do was wash it and see how it turned out. I don’t have any photos of it as it comes, I remember trying, but it was acting like patterned shirts do on the telly. This is how it looked after a wash:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt started to crumple up and look like foil, and didn’t want to uncrumple. In some places it started to fall to bits:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI googled, and came up with a couple of sites talking about vintage fabrics, and especially how delicate silk taffeta is with its metallic threads and something about how taffeta is prone to disintegration because of the metal salts used to give an opalescent sheen. So, I’m fairly certain it is taffeta and not organza. I did a sample using a piece before washing, at the top, and a piece I’d washed, at the bottom:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe unwashed piece kept its shape better than I thought. Actually, so did the washed piece, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it just fell to bits. I did a similar sized sample with just one piece unwashed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe taffeta still feels stiff after felting, but it does look nice. Angled:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can really see the sheen and texture on this close up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few weeks ago, I made some more drum carded blended batts. I used 18.5 mic primary yellow Merino blended with hand dyed Milk, Silk and Soy fibres; and 18.5 mic Merino blended with black bamboo and hand dyed Milk, Silk and Soy fibres; then I blended them together.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few people pointed out they fit in well with the first quarter colour challenge, making a shade. I’m hoping I get chance to felt a little sample of them soon, I’m curious how the fibres will show through.


18 thoughts on “Silk Nuno Samples

  1. The taffeta felts in lovely – fab wavy texture – it would make a good sea in a seascape if the coloured wool layer under it was formed from various blues/turquoises/greens etc.

    I think your new shade will look pretty felted up.

  2. Interesting, Zed. Once I got some material similar to the one you are describing but I knew it was a synthetic fibre. As soon as I wetted it it strated crumpling and gathering and was cmpletely useless for felting. I saved it anyway and thought I might make a flower from it.

    1. I suppose it depends on what you want it for, I quite like gathering and crumpling because I love texture, it does sound like it’d be nice for flowers πŸ™‚

  3. Zed,
    I recently dyed some stiff silk like this in a class. I haven’t tried felting with it yet, but I wonder if it would be a good base for a purse.

    1. Do you mean a bag type purse not coin purse? I think it’d make a good base, it’d help it keep its shape, have lots of texture and make it sturdy without too much thickness.

  4. Were you a bit upset with the disintegrating taffeta? I seem to remember that it’s dry clean only–but then you wouldn’t have have those interesting effects. Lovely batts! Look forward to seeing how you use them in felting.

    1. Thanks, Cathy πŸ™‚
      No, I didn’t pay much and it wasn’t a large piece or anything. I’ll just know not to wash it before felting, and not be too surprised if it does fall to bits during!

  5. The taffeta/organza is a pretty color and looks great felted. The batts are great. I can’t wait to see how you use them

    1. Thanks, Marilyn πŸ™‚
      It’s fine 18.5 mic Merino, so I’ll probably save them for a scarf.

  6. I think that the silk you got was a silk/metal organza. Actual metal threads run one way, the silk the other way. True silk organza gets its stiffness from the sericin that is left on the silk fibers. The sericin can be washed out with an alkali solution; this is degumming. The metal/silk organza can be crumpled and ‘set’ in hot water. The metal/silk organza I have rolls up instantly when wet but when I get it to felt it looks just like your texture and sheen. Fun stuff!

We'd love to hear your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.