My Brilliant Mom!
I love how I can always count on my Mom to have the latest cool and fun trick for playing with fibre, dyes or yarns. She and I often get together to dye silk as I mentioned in my past post. We also are always trading the latest tricks we learn and her most recent one is using silk men’s ties.
You have to start with a real 100% silk tie that has a pattern. Mom scored some great scarves by digging through a couple of second hand shops in our area. Luckily she can tell a silk fabric from acrylic or polyester simply by feel. There are burn tests you can do to threads pulled off of a fabric but obviously this would probably upset the owners of a second hand shop if you were walking around with a lighter burning things! Hee hee! The burn test works more by the way a fibre smells when it is burned. Of course if the fabric is a blend of natural and man made you won’t get anything but weird mixed results.
Back to the silk tie, assuming you found some 100% silk ties, The dye on a silk tie in the pattern actually comes off and will adhere to other fabric like the silk we were dying and apparently is neat trick to make decorative easter eggs!! This blog post shows you all the steps she did to make her silk tie dyed eggs.
My Mom just laid the silk she had cut into pieces from the ties, pattern side down, onto the silk and then carefully folded and wrapped it up into a small bundle. We then wrapped it up in cellophane and put it into the steamer for an hour. The different colours and dyes will bleed out differently from each different fabric so be prepared to be surprised by what the end result is. We had fun with it and the black dyes seemed to be the colour that took the best on the silk though one of the materials had a dot of red and that ended up being the strongest colour to come through.
Mom actually sold one of her scarves to a friend and she left me some of the tie fabric so I can play around with it the next time I am dying stuff. I was too focused and just getting some basic dying done that day so I didn’t try the silk tie technique this last time. You can bet I will be checking for the ties the next time I am at the 2nd hand shop for sure!! Do you ever wonder if the 2nd hand shop employees wonder what the hell is going on when there is a sudden run on one specific item like silk ties???