Venturing into new types of dye

I have committed to venturing into new methods and techniques of dying, in conjunction with larger and more elegant fabric. I wrote about that as a challenge to my artistic growth…. and i finally took action by placing a large order for more specialized pieces of silk, and a different brand of dye, which requires careful handling because it is in a powder form.  Inhaling the powder is dangerous and the powder can be caustic.   Wednesday my box of supplies arrived and was sitting on my porch waiting for me to dig in.  And boy did i…

I have decided to venture into larger silk wraps with fringe.  It is a type of silk known as cut devore which is a raised velvet pattern on a silk field.

For those who love more detail about devore – wikipedia writes a brief summary:

Devoré velvets originate from Europe where the manufacturing process was created during the 1920s. A gel containing sodium hydrogen sulphate is applied to velvet containing a blend of cellulose fiber (such as viscosecotton, or rayon) and protein-based fiber such as silk. The chemical gel dissolves the cellulose fibers, leaving behind the silk, which appears as a semi-transparent gauze against the more solid fabric blend that is untouched by the gel. The term Devoré means “devoured” in French

I could buy the paste and the silk/rayon mix velvet to create my own pattern… i think that may be a future step.  For now i am buying the silk already worked into patterns and the Devore piece completed.  When dyed the devore (or plush portions of the silk) will absorb heavier concentrations of dye, accenting the contrast between the velvet and the silk.  One of the patterns is of peonies… and if i dye this correctly it will look majestic….

this is a close up of the peony patterned cut devore, before dying.

another pattern is known as Baroque – soft leaves and stems swirl in gentle and soft patterns.  These pieces of silk are large, measuring 22″ x 72″ with fringe.  Elegant accents to a lovely outfit, or a vintage looking piece for atop the piano, or across the back of the sofa!!!

This material and dye require me to work with a soda ash solution, which is a highly caustic solution that helps open the silk to receive the dye.  I am forced to use large chemo gloves, and a breather to protect from inhaling both the ash, and the powdered dye…. I am less fond of these chemicals, but the results are always glorious…. very glorious.

I was going to hit the internet and show you what they look like once dyed, but i am going to wait, and photograph my results… update should be within a day or two.