Monday, January 28, 2013

Soy silk strips...what next?

I've been experimenting off and on with soy silk roving, and although I enjoy turning it into silk fusion fabric, painting it, and using it in embroidery projects, I still feel like I'm not finished with it yet.  So my next experiment aimed to turn it into strips.  One idea that I have is to use the strips in making fabric wrapped bracelets.  But I'm sure there must be other possibilities.

Here's the plan so far:  


1. Choose a nice multi-colored hank of soy silk roving.




2. Pull out fabric strips and lay them out on a piece of netting.




 3. Follow the directions given in the tutorial for Silk Fusion, but don't create a sheet, just longer strips.  Straighten out the bends before the strips dry completely. 


Copyright 2013 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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4 comments:

SpinningDownUnder said...

hi Cyndi, If I can add to those instructions a bit? Tops, whether wool, silk, soy, or anything else, are made up of fibres usually of a consistent length, and whatever you make will be stronger and more durable if you work with that length.
To find out how long the fibre length is hold a piece of stripped top about the thickness of a little finger between your hands about 6 inches apart and gently tug. If the tops come apart in half, take one half and gently tug those, and that should give you your fibre length. Any shorter than that and you will have problems, but check anyway by once again tugging the length in half. Once you have the fibre length established, you know how much overlap you need to keep your piece structurally sound., even if you are "glueing" it together with acrylic medium.
If you can take a whole piece of top and easily pull it in half crossways, without stripping it to finger width first, you probably have extremely short fibres, best suited for wet felting. If, on the other hand, you find you have to start your hands wider apart to pull the strip of top in half, you have a lovely long fibre that is perfect for projects like this and can get a good overlap of fibres where you have to thin them out and lay them in pieces.
This is especially important as tops are often made from fibres that are not suitable for commercial spinning because they are not the right length to go through the machines, and with silk it can also be the tangled remains of a silk cocoon that has had to be hand cut apart. Obviously some fibre suppliers are better than others, but it pays to start with good quality tops.
Its also worth noting that some dyes can burn and weaken the fibres, and its not always visible.
Also, when buying them, if the shop assistant takes to the tops with scissors to cut you a length, shop elsewhere, because you are going to get extra short and useless fibres at both ends! Always pull tops apart by hand.
Cheers, Caroline

Cyndi L said...

Wow! Just wow! I need to post this all as a separate post so that no one misses it. I don't know if you can really tell how long my pieces are, but those were all gently pulled and ended up being quite long with no intermediate "breaking points". I know I'm not using the right terms, but I think you know what I mean. So apparently, I got a really good hank of soy silk, but I wouldn't have known that if you hadn't explained all of this. Thanks so much...I need to post it and give you credit!

Eileen Bergen said...

Fascinating info - both in your post, Cyndi, and from Caroline. Wow - who knew!

I just love the colors of your silk roving; and think it will make beautiful fiber bracelets.

ACreativeDreamer said...

WOW is so right! What a great lot of very good information to know! I can't wait to see what you do with the roving Cyndi!

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