Water Marks on Silk

Water Marks on Silk…you hate them, yet they inevitably appear. While at costume college, I led a Q&A session on The Care and Feeding of Silk.  And it was awesome!  So much enthusiasm, the energy in the room was high, everyone was sharing tips and tricks.  I loved it.  But in the course of the class, I dropped (deliberately) a spot of water on a previously starched piece of Habotai.  I wanted to demonstrate exactly what water marking was and why it was no big deal. And as the silk scrap made it’s way around the room, it dried, and

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Plato on Beer

Beer on silk

He was a wise man who invented beer — Plato on beer. Beer is a staple around campfires, especially when one is a historical reenactor.  And since beer and silk have been walking the same roads for centuries, it is not impossible to think that someone…somewhere…some when…would have experienced the beer on silk phenomenon.  Fortunately, this stain is pretty simple to take care of.  I’m not at all sure it wouldn’t have just rinsed out with cold water.  But, just to be on the safe side, I spot cleaned with Dr. Bronner’s too. So seriously, lager is no challenge for Dr.

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Put the Starch Back in your Silk

Starch silk...it can be done

After the wash, can you starch silk?  Should you NOT wash silk taffeta because you’ll wash out the finish?  Then what?  Can you put the scroop back in the silk?  What happens if you didn’t previously wash your silk and now it has water marks where rain drops rinsed away the factory finish? I tested three different starches on Tuscan Sunset Habotai and then I tested my favorite on a scrap of Pink Lemonade.  The overall winner really does bear out the statement that you get what you pay for.  My recommended Starch for silk is Le Blanc Portfolio Linen Press.  It

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I love my cat…I love my cat…

Cat pee from silk...It can be done!

Ever wonder how to remove cat pee from silk, without having to kill the cat as an animal sacrifice to the gods of cleanliness.  Fear not, Damask Raven searched out the answer and tested it, with the help of our very own asshole cat!  Here it is:  How to remove cat pee from silk, without killing the cat! Actually, he’s not a bad cat.  Manchu is pretty cool as cats go.  But like all cats, he has his quirks.  Fortunately, rather than resulting in the desire to strangle him, this particluar quirk provided me with the unique opportunity to pick the

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Little Blue Dress Test

LBD, Ready to GO

During the week at Golden Beltane, we had a steady stream of wonderful people bringing us suggestions on what to stain silk with.  Sometime in the middle of the week, Brad and I were sitting in our pavilion, drinking (as one does during long camp events), when Brad starts giggling to himself.  I looked quizzically at him and he said “What about natural human protein stains?”  I start grinning back, noted he was wearing the blue tunic, and said “We can call it the little blue dress test.”  Then we sat there chortling at each other a la Beavis and

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Machine Wash Silk?

Working with Silk Fabric

What happens when you machine wash silk?  Turns out not much…   Couple of apologies.  First, very early in, while I’m talking, you will hear a loud crash followed by me rolling my eyes and laughing.  That is the sound of my 116 pound Rottweiler Bubbles (yes Bubbles) trying to join the fun. Next, I say during the initial measuring process, that I have four yards and five inches of silk.  But if you look at the tape measure, I actually have four yards and four inches.  Sorry, folks, still new to video and don’t yet know how to edit

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Stains!

Sweat Stains...

At the event last week where we were vending, the concept of washing silk with soap and water for removing stains seemed to stun many people.  We shared two of the three pieces we’ve washed.  We shared the Grease Stained Glorious Gold Damask and the Marinara Stained Cotton Candy Damask.  It was great because as soon as we showed these two pieces of formerly messed up and begrimed silk, the wonderful people of the SCA started giving me ideas for what else they wanted to see smeared on silk and how I might go about removing those stains. So while the last

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Italian Marinara Sauce is no match for Dr. Bronner’s

I’m having great fun staining silk to see what washes out and how and thanks to all the wonderful people at West Kingdom’s Golden Beltane the list of stains to try has grown even longer.  But just before leaving for Golden Beltane, I stained this ordinary piece of Cotton Candy Silk Damask with marinara sauce from pizza.     What actually happened is I had decided to try the pizza sauce so I cut out the scrap I wanted to try it on, went in to the kitchen to get some pizza, and my boyfriend was dipping bread sticks in marinara

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“Water Stains”

Water Stains

CAVEAT:  I actually do need to start this one with a HUGE caveat.  Watered Silk, aka Moire, should never…EVER…be washed.  This is one of the few silks that is genuinely, unquestioningly, dry clean only.  What is it?  Moire silk is silk that has been pressed through industrial grade, steam rollers, which pull the warp threads slightly out of alignment from the weft threads, while simultaneously steaming the silk, creating a rippled effect that looks like, well, WATER.  It is very cool, as seen in this dress at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. To give an analogy of why you do not

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Grease Stains!

You’re in your Faire Finery, eating a big old hearty greasy breakfast of Bacon and Eggs, getting ready for a full day of entertaining mundane’s, when the WORST happens… While reaching for the salt, you drag your silk sleeve through the bacon grease!  You don’t have time to go change, Faire awaits.  You just know that stain is gonna be good and set by the time the long day is done.  And it’s SILK!  You don’t want to trash the silk, it’s your best shirt, and it was a little pricey.  But now you have a set in stain.  What to

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