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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Thursday, 19 June 2008
Playsilks are the number one toy at our house. We use them for everything!

I am always so glad to finish an order and send them out because I know that a family has just ordered endless hours of natural, imaginative play. These are toys we use daily and I really believe in their value for supporting imaginative play. I'm a little passionate about playsilks, in fact!
Dress up and ropes, capes, canopies, wings, ponds and fields, comets and stuffing...

Playsilks are simply squares of silk, hemmed and hand dyed and ready for anything! Contrary to popular opinion, silk is actually incredible durable~ it has a reputation as a delicate fiber, but it is among the strongest in nature.

You can read up on playsilks (you'll have to scroll about halfway down the linked page) or follow this link to find 10 activities to do with your toddler and a silkie!

I was doing some dyeing today and thought I'd share some process pictures (without giving away all my secrets bwahahaaha). There are as many processes as there are dyers, but this one works for me!
  • Start with white silk. Hand rolled hems. I use habotai (8 mm) in a variety of sizes from 11 x 11" to 4 x 6'.
  • I start with a vinegar/ cold water soak.
  • Use acid (I use vinegar), dye and heat (the magic combo) for steamy goodness! I prefer the stovetop, although the microwave is an alternative that I use for some effects as it allows a little more control of the process). I always stir with a wooden spoon to avoid damaging the silk (it is vulnerable when wet!) and keep it moving to avoid burning.Gently rinse until it runs clear (dye reacts chemically with the silk, the run off is the unreacted dye) and wring gently.
  • Hang to dry (or carefully press while wet for a smoother finish).
  • Press and voila! Plenty of playsilks! These are today's finished silkies.~ mostly Fairy Silkies (11 x 11") and a few standard guys ( 35 x 35)
Silkies are always in stock as singles and sets, and I am always open for playsilk customs, too.

3 comments:

Jessica said...

Argh! She be Capt. Rowan Sparrow!

Lori said...

LOL Indeed.

Candice said...

I just kool-aid dyed my first batch ever to give to my kids for Christmas. I thought 6 would be enough, but now I want more!!!

http://mygreening.blogspot.com

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