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Topic: Diamond Cut Silks are not all equal
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jun 6, 2009 03:47PM)
Since the days of one of our earlier threads about diamond cut silks much has changed and there are some big differences to see in the quality of diamond cut silks. The magician can really benefit from the learning curve.

Today the good diamond cut silks are very different from even the best ones three years ago.

1. They are actually available in 100% pure China silk in colors that match the other square silks.

2. No more rolled hems sewn with a single gapping thread that comes loose and ravels. Today even the cheap ones (called "seventy-five cent silks" in the trade) have serger hems. Serger hems add no strength and are certainly inferior to the new 2mm flat hems. However, they do work best on silk cut diagonally rather than cut with the weave.

3. Now Diamond Cut Silks actually are diamond cut silks! ALL 4 sides measure The SAME. (No more of the seventy-five cent "kites" that have two long edges next to two short edges. These "kites" are hardly diamond shaped.) Now the center two corners of diamond cut are at the same level and actually in the middle between the ends of the silk! No more silks that have two mid points at two different levels or none in the center either! This is a critical and very great improvement over the errors of the past. They look like square silks now when held by one corner.

4. The new silks are carefully cut on the diagonal to hang like a silk square held by a corner rather than looking like a bath mat held along a straight edge. They are convincing. They drape like silk should.

5. There has been little or no change in price either. Good ones don't really cost more than the inferior ones.

This is a great deal of progress over the diamond cuts discussed in the earlier thread.


Remember: Silk is never measured by anything but a hemmed edge. Don't pay 18" prices for a 12" silk. The diagonal length of a 12" diamond cut is about the same as the diagonal measurement of an 18" square silk. Reputable dealers will not quote you diagonal length without hem sizes. (Normally there is no reason at all to mislead you with diagonal length of a diamond cut silk.)

Now I gladly use diamond cut silks as a gimmick in silk magic.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jun 6, 2009 09:43PM)
Bob gives some good information here.

I would add that the measurements of hemmed silk is the raw size before hemming. A 24" is about 23" hemmed. It is not much but it may be important in some instances.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Sep 30, 2009 10:30AM)

Thank you. That is true about silk measurements. It is like lumber. A 2x4 isn't a 2x4 when you get it! But, hopefully, it started out that size.

Measure, measure, Measure!

I got a great photo from Jimhlou here on The Magic Café of the difference in a real 18" diamond cut silk and a misrepresented one. The difference is not only the size which is 4x, but the price is the same! Thank you, Jim!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 4, 2011 03:42PM)

That photo is certainly worth a 1000 words. It really removes the questions. The difference is about four time the size. Except for price and color they have nothing else in common. Make sure your dealer is quoting you the hemmed edge measurement and that all four sides are the same size.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

PS --- Jim, would you allow me to post that picture?
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Dec 4, 2011 03:49PM)
Absolutely!! My diamond silk education is complete. Now that I know the difference I'll never be short-sold again!

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 9, 2012 01:54PM)

It is a lesson every professional magician needs to know.

Message: Posted by: JayScottBerry (Apr 15, 2012 08:30PM)
Hi guys - I'll dive in here, as a professional performer who uses them regularly. These are the tools we use, nothing more.
I will say that I rarely use a square silk anymore and never once, in thousands of shows, have I had an audience member question the shape of the silk. My general rule is simply, if you have to open up the silk and show it as a square, use a square. If you don't, a Diamond Cut Silk may be a better alternative.
I have personally developed dozens of effects using the Diamond Cut Silks, from the basic Eclipse Tip Appearance,Colour Change &Vanish to the 21st Century Silks and the Diamond Fountains. Again, the best and most honest recommendation on all of these is that I use them, regularly, in all of my shows. They work, consistently. they last for a reasonable time, and they are colourful and visual props which pack small and play big.
I could speak volumes on this subject but will, instead, ask for questions, from anyone wishing to understand Diamond Silks better.
Message: Posted by: bojanbarisic (Apr 16, 2012 03:22PM)
Great to see you here Jay
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Apr 16, 2012 09:06PM)
I would never use anything but Jay Scott Berry's Diamond Cut Silks on my mutilated parasol.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (May 22, 2012 05:29PM)
Here are two diamond cut silks bought by a Magic Café member. Both were sold as 18" diamond cut silks at the price of $5.00 (in 2009).

You can see there is certainly a great difference!
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (May 23, 2012 05:51PM)
And who said that size doesn't matter?
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jun 4, 2012 09:45PM)
On 2012-04-16 22:06, Rainboguy wrote:
I would never use anything but Jay Scott Berry's Diamond Cut Silks on my mutilated parasol.
If you are repairing a mutilated parasol, I would recommend checking with TheGreatNancini here on The Magic Café.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 26, 2012 07:27AM)
On 2012-05-22 18:29, Bob Sanders wrote:
Here are two diamond cut silks bought by a Magic Café member. Both were sold as 18" diamond cut silks at the price of $5.00 (in 2009).

You can see there is certainly a great difference!

I am frequently asked about the diagonal measurements of diamond cut silks.

Here they are:

This should help.

Measured diagonally

24" Diamond Cut Silk is about 51" tip to tip but looks like a 36" square

18" Diamond Cut Silk is about 38" tip to tip but looks like a 24" square

12" Diamond Cut Silk is about 26" tip to tip but looks like an 18" square

9" Diamond Cut Silk is about 18" tip to tip but looks like a 12" square

Silks are measured by their sewn hemmed edges, not diagonally. (All four sides should measure the same.)

The sometimes cheaper silks (called seventy-five cent silk in the import industry) will not have four equal sides and not hang like a square silk held by a corner. There is no 36" diamond cut silk. A 24" diamond cut silk looks like a 36" square silk. Please don't be fooled by DM (diagonal measurements) or the "Apparent size" descriptions of silks from vendors that maybe set out to mislead you. Also, many "silks and silk tricks" sold on the Internet are Not Silk!

Not all silks and diamond cut silks are the same! Know what you are buying.

See the photo above (May 22, 2012)
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Jul 28, 2012 08:16AM)
I know silks would not work, but does anyone use diamond cut for Slydini Knotted Silks?

Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Jul 28, 2012 09:02AM)
Mr. Mystoffelees:

I suggest that you DO NOT use silks or diamond-cut anything at all for Slydini's Knotted Silks...if you do the silks will bind and you will have one big mess! Diamond-cuts won't work due to the intracacies of Slydini's handling and presentation.

Do yourself a favor and buy the correct props for this routine which are ripstop nylon parachute material...and also CAREFULLY read, understand and PRACTICE Slydini's Various routines which are published.

I'm VERY fortunate to have two original sets that Tony gave me many years ago when I met him and spent a couple of hours with him at the Faucett Ross Magic fest in St. Joseph, Missouri.
When you use the proper props, methods and misdirection A LA Slydini...you will have a CLASSIC of magic to perform.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 28, 2012 08:41PM)
Tony taught me using real silks. They were even two different colors to make learning easy. He also gave me the rip-stop Nylon ones he sold and even made me some colored ones since I am really a dove worker. The Nylon hems are wider and thicker than good silk hems which may be of some benefit for these routines. They are certainly cheaper than silk.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 29, 2012 02:44PM)
Just ordered 3 silks from Bob Sanders, super fast service and delivery, great price and very very nice quality of silk.
Did I say I was very impressed with the silk quality, and the color is very vibrant.

They fit perfectly in my hand Tape Dye Tube.

Highly recommend Bob Sanders' silks for your magical needs.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Sep 5, 2012 06:43AM)
Wow! Thank you Bill. That is really worth a lot coming from you. We know that you have seen many square miles of silk.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Nov 19, 2012 06:03AM)
This weekend I looked at diamond cut silks offered on the net. Virtually all were very poor. Most were not diamonds at all. (All four sides were not equal.) The center corners were not even near the center of the hanging silk. Some had TWO nonmatching center corners. Most were improperly measured. Legitimate dealers do not buy silk by diagonal measurements. Selling them that way is to fool the buyer.

A few had good hems but most had rolled hems.

The silk is what importers call 75 cent silk. It is the bottom of the barrel.

Suggestion: Diamond cut silk prices should be about the same as the price of the square silk it should have been made from. First buy a square from the dealer before buying the diamond cut. Use it to judge the quality. Remember that momme is only a measure of mass and not quality. (A pound of canner/cutter beef is not the same as a pound of choice or prime beef!) Look at hems that should be straight, very small and have square corners. Visually check the weave of the cloth for consistency of weave and color.

Good silk will cost you about twice as much now as it did a year ago. That is a function of the failing US dollar in foreign markets.

Be picky. Good silk will outlive you! Treat it as an investment.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 12, 2012 07:55AM)
LOL! Yesterday I got a complaint I like. "I'd like to change the colors in my show but your old silks don't show any wear."

The shelf life of good silk is about 200 years! (And the same guys waste three decks of cards a day... Yet they don't change silks.)

As the US dollar gains speed falling, silk won't get anything but higher priced. (Last year the USA was borrowing 40% of its spending. Currently it is borrowing 46% of its spending. The US dollar is even more worthless now and the outlook is awful. Revenues will really fall in 2013 with tax changes from Obamacare and income tax and SS withholding increases. You're not saving money by waiting.) The growth in GDP in Cuba is higher than it is in the USA!

Please feel free to change show colors!

Confession time: Yesterday I did my show in Mardi Gras colors because that was the bag I picked up. Red, White and Blue was what I had planned. But that is also magician's choice.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Feb 28, 2013 06:48PM)
Something that will extend the life of an "experienced silk" when the corners get a little fuzzy is a product called Fray Check sold in the fabric section of WalMart. It is about $2 a bottle and will last until you lose it. It will stop fraying.

Diamond cut silks are the worst about fraying because of the type hem that has to be used on them.
Message: Posted by: Marvelous Mike Rosen (Apr 22, 2013 11:16AM)
Hi Bob, sounds like you really know your stuff. However, I've been having an online chat with the guys over a Penguin Magic, and they are saying the exact opposite. I was looking at some 12" diamond cut silks and specifically asked what they meant by 12". They were very clear that the 12" is in fact the long length of the silk and not the length of the sides. So if anybody plans to order from Penguin Magic, you'll be getting silk that is 12" long, and it will look like a 12" silk rather than 18", which is bad news for me...haha
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 23, 2013 03:53PM)

I tried twice with no luck to get someone on the phone from the vendor you mentioned and so I gave up and went to their website. First, I found no diamond cut silks but did find diagonal cut silks (half silks with 3 sides). Diamond cuts are very different. Secondly, the silks from your vendor are apparently from India. We are not talking "ducks and ducks".

This may be specifically what you have been warned about. Read more about these silks. You are getting absolutely false information about measuring silk. I have been in the import business since 1969. I am the magicians' silk importer for the high end silks. (We do not deal in what is called 75 cent silk in the industry. It is frequently used in magic toy sets and on the internet.) Diagonal measurements are never what pros in the industry ever use except to talk with amateurs. I do notice that this is your very first post on The Magic Café.

For professional manufacturers and importers silk is measured by hemmed edges or, in the case of bolts of silk, the raw unfinished edges. Silk producers do not supply or sell silk using diagonal measurements. Amateurs and some less than honest vendors substitute that measurement from the one on the invoice from wholesale importers for a contrived measurement. Be careful. They don’t buy silk by diagonal measurements from professional sources. The motivation for the relabeling is questionable.

From this photo you can see the difference. The large one is an 18" diamond cut silk and looks like a 24" silk. The small one looks like an 18" silk but is a 12" diamond cut silk. They were both the same price! Rarely do the prices match the correct size using diagonal measurements. (Perhaps the motivation for relabeling?) At the top of this thread is a chart with both edge and diagonal measurements. The prices for good diamond cuts are about $1-$1.50 above the price of a square silk that appears to be the size of the diamond cut silk. Good diamond cut silks simply cost more to make. (i.e. a 12” diamond cut is made from an 18” square silk and therefore looks like an 18” square silk.) All 4 sides of a diamond cut silk should be equal.

By all means, make sure when shopping that you are comparing “ducks and ducks”. Manufactures have specifications for that purpose.
Message: Posted by: Marvelous Mike Rosen (Apr 24, 2013 04:54AM)
Bob, I'm surprised you didn't get anybody on the phone. Sorry to hear that. They also have an online live chat, that's what I did to get a hold of a live person. You're correct they do have diagonal silks, but they also have diamond cut in 12" and 36" .


I ordered some they should arrive Saturday. I'll keep you posted.

I'm glad to have you as a resource now. As an up and comer, I'm still naive of the quality resources out there that you won't find with a simple Google search. Thank goodness for the
Magic Café.

That was my first post, I do a lot of reading, but look forward to more posting and networking.

Thanks again!
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 24, 2013 04:58PM)
No problem with diagonal silks. I do have a major problem with 36" diamond cuts. They simply don't exist. They would have to be cut from 51" square silks for which the cloth doesn't exists. When you get your diamond cuts please measure the sides. They will be 24" diamond cut silks! They will look like 36" silks.
Message: Posted by: MagicSensei (Jun 21, 2013 02:45PM)
I'm using a Simplex, 2 1/8 long, 3/4 inch inside diameter, rolled top. Will the 9 inch diamond cut be a comfortable packing size for this?
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jun 23, 2013 10:30AM)

The 9" diamond cut should leave room to spare but look like a 12" square silk. I think a 12" diamond cut would also fit and look like an 18" square silk! Most magicians can get a 12" diamond cut into a regular TT.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Sep 16, 2013 05:06AM)
We still have magicians confused about sizes of diamond cut silks. They go by the length of ANY outside edge and all 4 sides should all be equal. That is the way retailers buy them too! I have seen retailers change the sizes apparently on purpose. Be fair to yourself. Don't overpay.
Message: Posted by: Gonzo (Oct 8, 2013 10:08AM)
Bob, do you still sell diamond silks?
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Oct 9, 2013 02:47PM)
Yes, Sir!
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Oct 10, 2013 11:44AM)
Did someone say Diamond Silks?

Bob, I didn't know that Paul Diamond made silks.........

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Oct 11, 2013 06:07PM)
It would come as a great surprise to Paul too. LOL!

Diamond silks refers to the cut or shape not the manufacturer.
Message: Posted by: ehands (Mar 3, 2014 08:40AM)
I'd like to buy some silks, but have not been able to find Bob's website to do so.
Am I overlooking a link at http://www.magicbysander.com/? Or maybe one must just email him.
I do see this email addresses.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 3, 2014 09:14AM)
Ehands, just email me directly.

Bob Sanders
Magic Valley Ranch
395 County Road 478
Clanton, AL 35046-3213 U.S.A.
(205) 755-6882 Ranch
(334) 412-5789 Cell
Message: Posted by: Stu Montgomery (Mar 7, 2014 02:30PM)
Would anyone know of a UK/European supplier of proper Diamond cut Silks like Bob describes?
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 8, 2014 11:08PM)

We ship worldwide.
Message: Posted by: wally (Jun 27, 2014 08:38AM)
I am in search of some nice bright coloured 12" diamond cut silks. 12 of them for my mutilated parasol. UK.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Sep 14, 2014 07:12AM)

Drop me a line. I'm the importer.
Message: Posted by: videoman (Oct 7, 2014 08:28PM)
Anyone know where I could get 9" diamond cut silks?
Message: Posted by: Jimmy Joza (Oct 8, 2014 06:22PM)
[quote]On Oct 7, 2014, videoman wrote:
Anyone know where I could get 9" diamond cut silks? [/quote]

Videoman, contact Bob Sanders. He is always helpful.
Message: Posted by: bowers (Oct 8, 2014 08:59PM)
I received 3 12" diamond silks from Bob a couple of days ago. Wow I had never had a true diamond cut silk before.
Wow I love them. And the quality is excellent. The 12" silk fits perfect into my tt with room to spare.

Bob's sevice is second to none and the shipping was fast also.

Todd :)
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Nov 19, 2014 04:04PM)
Sorry I missed this!

Thank you Todd!
Message: Posted by: bowers (Nov 20, 2014 07:26PM)
Your welcome Bob.
Just wish I would have ordered sooner from you.
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Dec 29, 2014 03:38PM)
I use Bob Sanders 12" diamond cuts in my blowtube (crystal silk tube). When the three come out tied together it makes a much better display than the postage stamp silks that come with the trick.

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 19, 2015 03:50PM)
Thanks Jim. Our source of good diamond cut silks in China is retiring. We will not likely restock when what we have is gone. (I'm 70 and may be cutting back on what I import too.)
Message: Posted by: DaleTrueman (Nov 28, 2018 07:21PM)
So I m looking for some diamond cut silks. People seem to recommend Bob Sanders which is great but I can't see where to buy? I'm guessing from your last post Bob that you aren't selling any more?

I'm looking at a set of twelve 18 inch by Gosh magic on ebay. $90 US including delivery to Australia. I can see some a bit cheaper but not much. Would rather have quality but don't know this brand.

Any advice?
Message: Posted by: DaleTrueman (Nov 28, 2018 07:27PM)

now that I asked that question I've looked around and found the same set but 24 inch for $38!
Message: Posted by: will lane (Nov 28, 2018 10:22PM)
[quote]On Nov 28, 2018, DaleTrueman wrote:
So I m looking for some diamond cut silks. People seem to recommend Bob Sanders which is great but I can't see where to buy? I'm guessing from your last post Bob that you aren't selling any more?

I'm looking at a set of twelve 18 inch by Gosh magic on ebay. $90 US including delivery to Australia. I can see some a bit cheaper but not much. Would rather have quality but don't know this brand.

Any advice? [/quote]
He still sells some. Send him a PM/email and he'll send you some data sheets and info. He has great prices, great service, and great products. :nod: I'd say every magician needs to stock up on his silks before he does run out.
Message: Posted by: DaleTrueman (Dec 1, 2018 07:19PM)
Thanks Will!
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 24, 2018 03:53PM)
Bob Sanders is still very much in the magic silk business. I do not maintain a retail website and our DoveLite silks are no longer available through dealers. We do sell direct and at conventions and lectures. Email me for a price list.

Pros around the world use DoveLite silks for all of the right reasons. I never import silks I don't use in my own shows.

Enjoy your silk magic.

Bob Sanders