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Dyeing Silk

Dyeing Silk

Since the house was tidy for Christmas I used the opportunity to do some dyeing. I mostly did fibres, but I also wanted to dye some silk. I have lots of patterned silk scarves, but wanted some more ‘plain’. This first pices is some silk Karen (who used to do the blog with us) sent me years ago. It’s labelled ’tissue silk’, is similar to silk chiffon, but different more like crepe. I dipped it in darker blue first, then lighter blues at the other end.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese pieces are silk habotai. The photo doesn’t do them justice, they have such a gorgeous shine. I’m kicking myself I didn’t buy lots of silk from wollknoll when the exchange rate was in our favour!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese are some pieces of silk chiffon, there’s less colour variation in these than in the tissue silk and habotai pieces. They came out really nice though:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese strips are from a piece of silk I got in a charity shop, it was a green to white blended piece, so I tore it where the green was palest, and dyed strips from those parts with blues and greens, and the whitest part burgundy with some purple shades.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also overdyed some printed silk I had. I can’t find any photos of it here, but I used it on a couple of notebook covers. It was nice in an unusual kind of way, but not so nice I didn’t mind completely changing it! This first piece was overdyed with blues and greens, it doesn’t look massively different, but it toned down the yellows:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this isn’t the best photo, but the over-dyeing turned out better than I expected using oranges and reds over greens/blues:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd here’s a rolled up batt I made from multi scraps a while ago:


Completing Another UFO

Completing Another UFO

I have been inspired by Ann’s 2nd quarter challenge to start working on the piles of fabric and UFO’s in my studio that haven’t been completed. I dyed this silk fabric in August of last year. You can read about the dyeing experience here and here.  I decided to make some pillows for our living room to liven up the place a little. I had two yards of fabric and made three 18″ square pillows and one 16″ square pillow. The smaller pillow was a request from hubby to use in his chair. I didn’t think this through very well and almost ended up without enough fabric. But I squeaked by and covered the pillow forms I had.

I also didn’t pay enough attention to where my flowers were going to end up and which side should be front and which back but it all worked out OK in the end. I also don’t stitch silk very often. I forgot how slick, slippery, stretchy and generally uncooperative it can be. Fun was had by all including the sewing machine trying to eat the fabric several times and jamming itself up.

Back of Poppy Pillow

On the three larger ones, I made an envelope style back.

Poppy Pillows on Couch

Here are all the pillows on one couch. Didn’t realize my Glacier Park painting was crooked until I looked at this photo. Better go straighten that.

The smaller pillow for hubby is on the left and here is one of the pillows in one of our other chair. I like the bright colors against the deeper green of the couch. They definitely brighten up the room.

Pile of Scraps

But I still have a pile of strips of green and red silk that I can’t throw away. Now I have to think of another project for these. They are too heavy for nuno and I really don’t want to do any more sewing of this slippery fabric but perhaps I can add them to cards or collages??

Dyed Poppies

Dyed Poppies

I recently wrote about this piece because I couldn’t get the blue dye to stay in my green mixtures for the leaves of the poppies. I solved that problem by adding Dye-Na-Flow paint.

Poppies with Wet Paint

This is what the piece looked like when the paint was first applied. I did add a bit more black paint to the centers after the green had dried. I heat set the paint with an iron and then washed the entire piece in the washing machined.

2 Yards of Poppies

This is nearly the entire piece. It is hard to take a photo of because it is so big. It is 2 yards of silk. And it finally has some green.

Poppies with Green

I haven’t decided what to do with the fabric. Perhaps make pillow covers? Any suggestions?

Poppies Close Up

I like how it turned out even though it took a bit longer than expected!



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