The Fiber Imp

Adventures in food, fiber, and family


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Yay! My silk scarves are here!

A few days ago my order of silk scarves came in and i’ve been impatiently waiting to have a dye day. Today is the day!

I decided to let my daughter help out with the dyeing as well.  She’s quite proud of the fact that she’s allowed to help with “adult” jobs now that she’s 6.

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She had lots of fun and did a really good job (there are a few questionable colour combos but that’s half the fun).

The process was pretty basic.  Put saran wrap on the counter.  Lay the silk scarves on the saran wrap in stacks of four.   Mix up your dyes (don’t forget the citric acid).  Start playing.  I use squirt bottles and a turkey baster when I dye, it depends on the effect I want.  Squirt bottles will give you a more speckled look and a turkey baster can cover large areas more evenly.   When I’m happy with the scarves I grab each end and flip the stack over.  I then touch up any spots where the dye didn’t penetrate all the way through.  When the dyeing is done roll up the scarves in the saran wrap and plunk in the steamer for 45 minutes.  You can steam for 1/2 an hour but I like to leave them in a bit extra just to make sure the dye is set.  After steaming let sit until cool.  Place in a hot water bath to remove excess dye.  I use a textile detergent at this point, I also add in a cool soak with dye fixative at the end to make sure the dyes won’t bleed.   Then dry and enjoy!

We dyed 30 scarves and they are currently hanging  in the window to dry.  One thing that I didn’t realise but am very happy about…Silk scarves dry super fast.  I’m so used to yarn and roving that can take a couple of days to dry inside that I had just expected the silk to take ages as well.

I will post some pictures of the finished scarves once they are dry.

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New shop items for 2014

I will be expanding my product lines this year with lots of new goodies!

I have been busily spinning up some new handspun yarns.  Twists, which are a two-ply yarn made with one ply of silk and one ply of handspun fiber. They have a really unique look and feel compared to standard handspun.  I’ve also done a few skeins of super bulky handspun, definetly a change from the fine spinning i’m used to.

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To make these I tore a lightly felted braid (I have many of these from a rain storm that came while my pretties were out drying on the line, lesson learned) in half, and in half again, to make 4 strips of roughly even thickness.  Then run them through your wheel with an art yarn flyer (watch out for too much twist, it goes quick) and tada, super bulky yarn.  To join the next strip, I fluff out the ends a bit, then get them wet and roll them together between my hands (pretend you’re trying to start a fire with a stick).  This felts the join so that it won’t fall apart later.

I’m also really excited to begin dyeing bamboo top.  So far i’ve only done protein fibers and I love the look of handspun bamboo yarns…Now, if only the mail would get here, umm, now 🙂  Have any of you spun bamboo top?

And last but not least, I have some silk scarves on order that i’m looking forward to dyeing up.  I love bright, bold colours and silk takes up dye so very well 🙂

Well, that about sums it up!  Have a great week everyone!