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Topic: Silks for sympathetic silks
Message: Posted by: aussiemagic (Jun 9, 2009 07:02PM)
I would appreciate some recommendations for silks for sympathetic silks.
Size, and a good source.

Thanks in advance.

AM
Message: Posted by: brody (Jun 9, 2009 07:15PM)
I use very large nylon ladies scarves. (Might be rayon...definately a synthetic.) I wanted the toughness due to the wear and tear from the tying of the knots.

Got them at a department store.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jun 9, 2009 07:48PM)
I would not recommend nylon because it deteriorates in any form of light. It also does not hang like real silk or treat stage lights as well as real silk.

Pure silk has 2/3s the tinsel strength of steel! Better than that, they will color match your other silk props so you can do a full routine rather than just a trick.

I use six 18" silks for sympathetic silks. Then I use three of them for MisMade Flag and the other three for Soft Soap (my version is Spot Out).

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jun 9, 2009 08:53PM)
I have made several sets for Sympathic Silks> I would never use anything other than pure silk, at least 8 momme.

I Paul Potassy uses womens scaves. I had a friend (Howard Flint) who once did it with Hermes scarves.

Richard
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jun 10, 2009 11:02AM)
I would recommend 22" -24" at a minimum in at least an 8 momme weight of pure silk. I use a 10 momme weight myself which is often marketed at habotai silk rather than the 6-8 weight which is referred to as "china" silk (regardless of it's place of origin).

If you are buying silk off the bolt and then having hemmed, you may find the 22" size is easily and economically derived from a piece of 45" wide fabric by one and a quarter yards length (45"). Torn into four pieces, you get 4 matched silk squares.
Message: Posted by: brody (Jun 10, 2009 03:38PM)
Bob:

Not to argue, but [quote]because it deteriorates in any form of light.[/quote] I'm assuming then that my ladies scarves aren't nylon, since I've had them for over 25 years.

I'm not sure I see your point with the "hang" of real silk. They're NOT real silk, so they shouldn't hang like real silk. They hang like ladies scarves, which is what I tell the audience they are.

And maybe I've just had bad luck, but the "tensile" strength didn't work for me when the kid pulled the tips of the two scarves as tight as he possibly could, and totally shredded out the ends.

Perhaps I needed to buy thicker silks. Twas quicker and cheaper to buy ladies scarves.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jun 10, 2009 05:12PM)
There are techniques to control how tightly a person can tie two silks (rayons, nylons?!) together...most of these have been adapted from the Slydini silk knotting routine.

I do believe that in some sympathetic silk routines, having a spectator tie a knot or two in the second phase adds a level of interest to the moment. The easiest method of doing this while controlling the outcome is to tie an overhand knot (the first 1/2 of a square or granny knot) yourself and bring it to a spectator to add the second 1/2. As you bring it to the spectator, adjust your grip on the two silks so that you are pinching the overhand knot itself. make sure you are holding the knotted segment high enough THAT WHEN THE SPECTATOR ADDS HIS PART, he cannot pull it any tighter, BECAUSE YOUR THUMB AND FOREFINGER ARE CAUGHT BETWEEN his 1/2 and your 1/2.

To make this psychologically stronger, it helps to hold the two silks in one hand only and make some remark to the rest of the audience while appearing indifferent to his tying process. To everyone else , it is the fairest of actions and allows you to pull the knot only as tight as you wish them to be.

However, in most Sympathetic silk routines it is not required that the knots be demonstrated as tight as possible, merely that the knots be genuinely tied. And each performer must decide as to whether having an audience member involved, adds or detracts from the routine.
Message: Posted by: aussiemagic (Jun 10, 2009 07:37PM)
Does anyone have the sympathetic silks that are sold by Silk King Studios?
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jun 10, 2009 08:17PM)
The Sympathic Silks was done long before Tony Slydini popularized his routine. It is a basic square knot that is older than the hills.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jun 10, 2009 08:18PM)
Brody,

"Totally shredded out the ends" sounds to me like a bad case of poor hems and corners. Materials will not overcome that. Construction, not strength is the weakness. Hems and corners are one of the key methods for determining the quality of silks. All silks are not equal. Serger hems would really be a loser here.

Tony Slydini taught me his unknotting trick and used real silks in the 60s!

Tony was a tailor by trade. The white nylon squares were 21" and made to look like mens handkerchiefs. That gave him something to sell as unknotting silks. (He didn't perform Sympathetic Silks with nylon either!)

In Rice, Volume 3 Chapter 18 is about every Sympathetic Silk routine you can imagine. They are done with real silk.

One other reason for using real silk is that we try to do our next trick with what we were left with in our hands from the last trick.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: brody (Jun 10, 2009 10:31PM)
Bob Sanders:

I'm sure you're right about the hems. I have absolutely no idea of they were serger hems or not.

In my routine, I usually toss the silks (scarves) to a kid and just ask him to tie the scarves together. (I don't do a three scarf version...just two).

Anyhow, I may just have to buy some good silks and give it a try.

Thanks for the advice.

Brody
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jun 11, 2009 09:49PM)
Serger hems are easily spotted. They look like the edges of bathroom wash cloths. One thread is wrapped around and around the edge. (It adds no strength!)

However, you can get some pretty sorry home machine sewn hems too. As a rule of thumb, the wider the stitches and the wider the hem, the more inferior the work. Modern silk hems are very flat and only 2mm wide. Corners should be very square with no raw edges showing.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

PS --- For damaged silks, try Fray Check to limit the problem. You'll find it in the fabric section of WalMart.

[quote]
On 2009-06-10 12:02, JNeal wrote:
I would recommend 22" -24" at a minimum in at least an 8 momme weight of pure silk. I use a 10 momme weight myself which is often marketed at habotai silk rather than the 6-8 weight which is referred to as "china" silk (regardless of it's place of origin).

If you are buying silk off the bolt and then having hemmed, you may find the 22" size is easily and economically derived from a piece of 45" wide fabric by one and a quarter yards length (45"). Torn into four pieces, you get 4 matched silk squares.
[/quote]

JNeal,

I sent you a PM to explain why China silk anywhere else in the world is still called China silk. (I've been in the import/export business since 1969. Life is full of surprises. Panama hats are made in Ecuador.)

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Grampa Wizard (Aug 21, 2009 07:39PM)
About using women's scarves: I do several silk bits as part of my "Project Runway" routine (spectators dress each other up with scarves and other items -- great for women's clubs). I use women's scarves since they are so colorful and appropriate for the routine. I have found them durable and they work very well for sympathetic silks (they upset easily and don't fray).

If you are interested in some really fine silks in colorful patterns (floral & abstract) the best source I know is an eBay store -- pablosalon. Pablo's silks, all brand new, are top quality and really gorgeous. You can get them "Buy-It-Now", but by bidding on auctions you can get some great bargains. And if you go to his store and look at the Sale items you can find unbelievable prices. I just bought a number of 36" x 36" silks for about $6 - $7 a piece (and that is including the shipping). Very nice merchandise.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 22, 2009 07:24AM)
P & A silks is the better silk for this routine, they are heavier then most silk on the market. Colors are very bright and they handle wonderfully.

They are not cheap at $30.00 for a 24" size, last time I looked at their pricing. The next I would recommend is Rice's silks.

Rice is/was the original source for the standard handling of this effect, the also publish a separate booklet with several alternative handling.

Abbott's silks (if they still make their own) are heavy duty and can withstand the use of this knotting but the colors are not as bright and the hemming is not perfect. Of course no one but you will notice the hemming.

Sorry, but I am not familiar with other brands of silks and cannot recommend them as a result.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Oct 24, 2009 04:39PM)
The wider and heavier the hems, the harder it is to upset a square knot, if it is pulled tight. If you use the wide or thick hemmed silks, I suggest that you use the double twist and a single knot like shown in Rice's. We used it for decades until thin 2mm flat hems were available in the USA.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Oct 24, 2009 06:18PM)
I have made couple of sets of 8 momme silks (the minimum weight I would use) specifically for the Sympathetic Silks. I think the last set I made were 24".

Richard
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Oct 24, 2009 06:48PM)
I like to use the 24" sets. However, the three tied together are as long as I am tall.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: HerbS (Apr 27, 2010 06:35AM)
Hello--about silks--for this novice, can someone explain where/how I can get silks of specific weight. If I want 8 momme or 10 momme weight as mentioned above, do I have to get the fabric at a fabric store, and will they have a variety of color selections? Also, as a point of reference, is there a standard weight for the silks typically found in a magic shop? The ones I bought recently already seem to be showing separation in the weave of the fabric after only a short time of practicing the knots for Sympathetic Silks. Thanks for any help. Herb
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Apr 27, 2010 12:35PM)
More often than not, (no pun intended) the scarves sold in magic shops are of the thin variety. This is because they cost less to make and therefore sell for a lower price, a seemingly attractive feature. They lack durability and are not substantial enough in the weave for sympathetic silks.

Can you can find online fabric merchants that will sell you unhemmed yardage of 'China' silk in 6 or 8 momme and in a wide variety of colors. The next heavier weight is 10 momme which is also called habotai silk...again in a variety of colors but usually not as many shades as the 6 or 8 weight.

Of course, there are several dealers who write in this forum on the subject of silks who can supply you with perfect weight silks (already hemmed!) in the size and colors you prefer..check with Hugmagic or Bob Sanders...or Rice silks!

I make my own and have done so for years...but I'm not really a retailer.

Regards-JNeal
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (May 8, 2010 09:59AM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-10 16:38, brody wrote:
Bob:

Not to argue, but [quote]because it deteriorates in any form of light.[/quote] I'm assuming then that my ladies scarves aren't nylon, since I've had them for over 25 years.

I'm not sure I see your point with the "hang" of real silk. They're NOT real silk, so they shouldn't hang like real silk. They hang like ladies scarves, which is what I tell the audience they are.

And maybe I've just had bad luck, but the "tensile" strength didn't work for me when the kid pulled the tips of the two scarves as tight as he possibly could, and totally shredded out the ends.

Perhaps I needed to buy thicker silks. Twas quicker and cheaper to buy ladies scarves.
[/quote]

Brody,

No offense taken. You are dealing with a common problem. And most likely the scarves you have are rayon or rayon blends.

I suspect that your "shredding" problem is cheaper serger hems. These hems look like the edge of a washcloth with the single thread wrapped around the edge rather than sewn flat with two threads like the 2mm wide hems in the better silks. Serger hems add no strength and are easily raveled. They obviously make very poor weak corners too. (Often these corners either don't meet or are even rounded to continue the turn.) Good corners have twice the fabric as poor corners. Good hems are very flat and nearly no interruption in the texture of the silk.

The continued presence of threads in the corners indicate they are not broken but unhemmed. The treads of your scarf aren't breaking but the hem thread, if were ever there, is breaking. Ideally, try to avoid hems made with only one thread even with the silk. It is not rare in good silk for the hem to cost as much or more as the fabric. Price differences in weight of silk (momme) is very minimal. Momme is no indication of the quality or appearance of the silk. Thread count is not a measure used in the description of silk. It would help.

Enjoy your silk magic.

Bob Sanders
Magic by Sander
Message: Posted by: tecumilic (Nov 11, 2018 10:39AM)
So I have a beutiful rice 20th century silk set. And I am buying a rice symphatetic silk set I am just slightly worried that the silks will not last that long since they are 6 momme. Is this a problem or am I just worrying for nothing?
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Nov 11, 2018 02:41PM)
It depends on how many shows that you do! The corners are what wear out first on silks that get tied into hard knots. Washing your hands will help, but it's mostly the twisting and pulling that causes the wear. I used sympathetic silks, which uses square knots, but, they were never pulled extremely tight. In school assembly work (average 13 shows per week, I could get sometimes two seasons from a set. I always carried "back ups".

With 20th C, it's a square knot, also, I averaged two seasons.

In later years, I found some beautiful polyester "silks"(?) that looked and, worked fine for sympathetic silks. I tried them as the two "end" silks in 20C, with a Rice "rainbow" in the middle. It worked fine.

Almost any can, pan, tube, box, or "red velvet bag on a stick, will wear out, depending on use and care.

If you do mentalism, you can get by on 3x5 index cards and a pencil.
!
I used Rice Silks for years. I have 72" Rice Dragons 40 years old!
Message: Posted by: tecumilic (Nov 11, 2018 02:56PM)
Thanck you Dick! Your comment makes a lot of sense and I am no longer as worried about the durability of the silks.