Silk all Soaked after Steaming. Help!
  • Hi everyone!

    Today was the second time in a row where most of my silk pieces came out all soaking wet and the dyes bleeding. Therefore ruined and unusable. The only thing I tried differently from 15 years of silk painting/steaming is: the last 2 times I used propane gas heater (a round shaped heater that is used for turkey deep fryer pot).

    My usual process:
    *Green label dyes, stove top heater.
    *rolled in school grade butcher paper (before I used a bit thicker paper).
    *place iron dumb-bells on top to keep the heat in.
    *heat for 4 hours.

    Again, the only thing I've changed recently was using a gas heater. Does this make a difference? Your advice and input are greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
  • First, a steam time of 4 hours is way too long. Max time for steaming large pieces is 1 1/2 hours. Smaller pieces can steam for 30-45 minutes and be set.

    Second, if your pieces are coming out soaking wet, that is because either 1.) Your wrapped pieces are too close to the bottom of the pot and the boiling water is hitting it or 2.) There is condensation that is dripping down from the lid (and during a steam time of 4 hours, a lot of condensation can drip). If it is the former, then the fabric needs to be placed higher in the pot. If its the latter, then you'll want to put kitchen towels between the bundle of fabric and the top of the pot lid. Reducing steam time will help too since there will be less time for exposure to condensation.

    Hope that helps.

  • Hi Jenny. Thank you for responding.

    1) I use the rectangular Stove Top steamer and I don't roll my silk very thick where as it would almost touch the water.

    2) I will reduce the amount of steam time on my next project, but I've always been steaming 4 hours and never had issues prior to the last 2 times.

    I was thinking over and over again last night and still came to gas vs. electric heater as the only difference I made. So, I'll reduce the time and go back to electric and test it out.

    Thank you again!
  • Good luck and let us know how it works out. If you have more issues then we'll be happy to troubleshoot with you more.