Setting Dyes on Silk Project (Need help)
  • I found this on the web at www.wetcanvas.com as a suggestion for a "home made" steamer to be used for setting dyes on silk painting. (I was wondering if this was a good way to do this):

    PREPARING SILK FOR STEAMING IN A....SPAGHETTI POT

    You will need:

    Absorbent paper. I use unwaxed butcher paper. DO NOT USE NEWSPAPER.
    Tape
    Metal basket or pan that will fit into pressure cooker.
    Trivet or cup to raise the pan.
    Foil
    Large kitchen pot

    1.) Lay down a sheet of paper slightly larger than the silk. Put the silk down flat, then lay on another sheet of paper. It is important the silk not touch itself during steaming or it will bleed.

    2.) Roll the silk length wise then roll that into bundle and tape.

    3.) Place that bundle on pan or pie tin and cover with foil. Make sure no moisture can get in.

    4.) Place tin on top of can in pot ( huh ? ) and add 2- 4 " of water. Make sure that the silk is high enough up that the boiling water will not spill into the pie tin.

    5.) Cover pot with tight lid. Bring water to boil then lower to medium heat. Some artists only steam 30 minutes but I always steam at least two hours, esp. when I have a large load. A homemade steamer can probably handle a maximum of 3 small scarves. A professional stovetop steamer can hold 6- 8 yards of silk.

    6.) VERY IMPORTANT ***** Remove the lid away from your face and body to avoid steam burns. The bundle will be very HOT. Unwrap and wash out.

    DO YOU AGREE THAT THIS is a good method? I can't afford a $1,200 vertical steamer at this point. Also, I don't see that your stovetop steamer is currently available (If I'm wrong, please let me know where that can be purchased.) Or would I be better off using a chemical dye set?

    Thank you in advance for your help with this.
  • lisa,

    i've used this method before and it works great :)

    basically, you just need to get a large pot and put an inch or two of water in it. then you need to raise your bundle so that the boiling water won't be able to seep into the bundle. here, it looks like they're telling you to use a can to raise the pie tin with your bundle in it... when i have steamed using this method, i used a metal strainer placed upside down in the large pot... this kept the bundle raised and out of the danger zone of the boiling water.
    i hope this helps!