To the left is a photo of me during the dying process of my silk scarves. In this batch I am doing three scarves at a time.I try to wear the same clothes when I am placing dyes on the silks. You can't believe the number of shirts and slacks I have ruined with dyes.
I used to use resist to create images on the scarves. But as I began to lose the fine motor movements in my hands I turned to using a mixture of dyes and blending them with a diffusion solution, which adds beautiful dimensions to the dyed scarf. After each scarf is dyed, I wait 24 hours to allow the dyes to sink into the fibers of silk. When all the dying is completed which is usually a 2-3 day process, I then begin to layer the scarves between long pieces of unmarked newspaper. I use 2 pieces under the scarf, and 2 pieces on top of a scarf. The photo shows me in that layering process.
Layering 5-7 scarves, takes about 2-3 hours. It does for me anyways, because my back won't tolerate bending over for long periods of time. And the layers of paper requiring cutting to accomodate each scarf, plus the scarves need to have all areas covered or you take the chance of a bleed through during the steaming process.
Tomorrow: The Steaming Process