Where I learn how delicate silk can be.

One thing I have learned working with all these amazing fabrics is just how strong silk is. It is amazingly strong. I was always taught when I was young that silk is very delicate. That it is a very fussy fabric. I have not really found those things to be true. I iron it on high and it turns out beautifully. I twist it, scrunch it, smash it..oh the things that poor fabric goes through to get the results I want. It always holds up beautifully. Well that is, until yesterday. I have to admit right from the start though...it was MY fault. I was busy. I was distracted. I had grown complacent with my silk.
I came home from the doctor in a bad mood. I was sore and tired and wanted to get this last dye batch washed quickly so I could sit in my chair and iron ribbons all afternoon. Doc said I had to sit so that would be the perfect occupation while I did so. In my hurry and distraction I put my machine on the strongest setting. When it was finished and I opened the machine I knew there was something horribly wrong. My lingerie bag looked gray. I unzipped it and dumped the contents onto my cutting table. Here is what I found:

All those pretty little 1/4" ribbons had been decimated. No matter how strong my silk is...little bias cut ribbons cannot hold up to the fury of a turbo wash. Poor babies! I could see that they were going to be so pretty too :(
All is not lost though. I learned a good lesson yesterday. That no matter how strong you think something is...sometimes you have to be gentle. These ribbons are so beautiful and under normal circumstances they are strong too, but even strong things can be abused.

I will make more tiny ribbons but I doubt I will go that small anymore. Although I do know the reason I lost them is the machine, I will feel more comfortable sticking with 3/8" and bigger. I have a pile now waiting for dyes and soon they will be going in the wash too..but on a much gentler setting!

I am finishing ironing and packaging my other velvets I dyed yesterday. This rainbow set brightened my day. It was such fun to iron it and place them side by side to see this beautiful rainbow emerge. I am making this into 7" silk square packs. People seem to like being able to buy these packs. They are great for making art quilts. Having a little bit of several colors to embellish with. I know I enjoy my big drawer of silk velvet scraps. Whenever I am sewing it is so nice to be able to reach down into that drawer and pull out a rainbow of bits and pieces...hunting for that perfect piece, that treasure, that will fit right where I need it!
3 comments on "Where I learn how delicate silk can be."
  1. I read through your blog this morning and really enjoy seeing what you're up to and knowing you're doing what you love. I'm so glad you're in a good place! And I love the photos of your products. You are one talented lady! Glad to have caught up with you again.

  2. If someone has the courage to post things gone wrong it is kind of soothing. Happens to all of us. And it is a teaching! Thank you.

  3. Oh no about your ribbon! the velvet colors are wonderful. So sorry to hear you are still having problems. Take care!