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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Working with Silk Fabric

Working with Silk Fabric

One of the things that keeps people from buying and working with silk fabric is fear.  Fear that it’s delicate and they don’t want to damage it, fear that they’ll mess it up.  So here is a crash course primer on how to work with this lustrous fabric. First off, pre-wash the fabric using your preferred method.  The Caveat is that Silk Velvet and Watered Silk should always be dry cleaned.  Otherwise, either hand wash or machine wash the fabric in preparation of working with it. Once you have washed and dried the fabric, iron it.  Just like with cotton, linen, or synthetic blends, you don’t

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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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