Settibg Arashi shibori-dyed silk
  • I've got a piece of silk all wrapped up (on a glass bottle) and ready to dye, but I'm unsure how to set it.

    Can I just put the bottle with the dyed silk wrapped on it in a steamer on the stove for a few hours? Will I need to wrap it with paper and foil so the colors don't run? How far from the steam will the bottle need to be?

    Or shall I just dip the whole blasted thing in a bucket of fixative solution, wash, and then unwrap it and iron out the pleats? I'd love to avoid more chemicals, if possible.

    Thanks for your help!
  • Hi Kam,

    First question for you is, what dye are you using?

  • I'm planning to use Jacquard Silk Color with the green label.
  • Okay, with the Green Label Silk Dyes you have a couple of options. There is the Dyeset Concentrate which you would use once the dyed fabric is dry. Mix the fixative bath per the instructions, dip the scarf and wala!

    The other method is steaming. Once your dyed fabric is dry, remove it from the bottle and jelly-roll it in plastic wrap and steam. As Paula Burch noted in a previous post to waterknitter, steam it as you would vegetables; and you'll want the packet far enough above the water that it is not going to be splashed. Here are full instructions for creating your own Stove Top Steamer. Of these two methods steaming will give you the more vivid colors.

    Paula, if you have any hints on steaming with plastic wrap would you make a post please?

    P.S., you might want to do a pratice run with a bit of spare fabric if you are feeling uncertian about the process.
  • Hi, I'm confused -

    Wouldn't wrapping dry fabric in plastic keep the steam OUT?

    Paula's instructions were for setting wool yarn, which would still presumably be damp from the vinegar water soak.

    My understanding is that to set the Silk dyes on a dry piece, you need to wrap the it in clean newsprint or a piece of sheeting, so the steam can penetrate to the fabric, without dampening it and making the dyes run.

    Clarification, please!

    Thanks - L
  • That's right, plastic wrap is to be used only on items that are still quite wet with dye, such as yarn. I've used it on fabric, as well, but only wet fabric. The dye cannot react with the fiber except in the presence of moisture. If the dye is dry on the fabric, as in the case of a painting, it is important to use paper instead of plastic wrap, since paper is permeable to steam.

  • Aha! (says me with a bit of chagrin). Thanks, Paula for the the clarification.

    Red facedly,