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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Storing... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

KJ
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New user
Louisville, KY
97 Posts

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How do you store silks so they won't come out wrinkled? And when they are wrinkled, how do you flatten them?

-KJ
Chrystal
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Inner circle
Canada/France
1552 Posts

Profile of Chrystal
Egads, this summer I had the opportunity of going through 150 or more silks that were hard to identify at first being rolled and scrunched up ball size. I should mention I was hired as Director of Magic and was going through their prop room. Sigh. Only way to really get out all the wrinkles was to iron 'em. Yup, tedious chore. Have the iron set on low, spray them lightly with a mist and iron away! Wish I coulda just done this with a snap of my fingers, but I don't know the magic spell for that one. Good Luck! Oh and whatever you do, don't burn them, K? Placing a thin cloth over them will prevent that.
Darkwing
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Inner circle
Nashville Tn
1845 Posts

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Some people like to hang the silks on a line and some just leave them folded in a zip lock bag or box. I've tried both ways and honestly it really doesn't make a lot of difference. I like a little wrinkle in the silk because it gives the silk texture and a shimmer under the lights. A pro friend of mine irons his silks before every performance. Maybe I'm lazy, but I don't think it is necessary. On the other hand, silk streamers are another story. You need to role them on a cardboard tube such as a toliet paper or paper towel tube when you are not using them. An iron and a little spray of water will take care of a very wrinkled silk.

Hope that helps.
Rice
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Regular user
Ruth Rice Crone
102 Posts

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There are a lot of opinions on this topic. It is important to consider the type of silks you are dealing with. We do not recommmend washing or spraying silks with water. Rather, if the silk is of good quality 100% silk, 5 or 6 momme, and made without Sericin (silk glue), no water and a very hot iron (dry or steam) are recommended. Do not do this with cheap silks or silks made with Sericin! If they are made with Sericin, the iron will scorch the silk as the Sercin acts as a binder and unites the silk and the iron into a common bond! Also use a heavily padded ironing board. This makes the heat of the iron pass through the silk into the padding. If you are doing a lot of ironing, stop periodically and allow the heat trapped in the heavy pad to escape. If the pad becomes overheated, there is a danger of the heat from the iron not being able to penetrate the silk into the pad below.
Hope this is helpful.

Ruth
Ron Reid
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Inner circle
Phoenix, Arizona
2733 Posts

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Hi KJ:

Jeff McBride has some information about this on his "Magic On Stage" Video (Volume two). He says he asked Lance Burton about ironing silks and Lance told him not to iron at all. He said silks get to a point where they're wrinkled all over, and look good because they're more textured.

Jeff says he hangs his silks on a clothesline in his house. He says that prevents them from getting musty, which they'll do if packed away for very long.

Seems like good advice to me.

Ron Reid
kingsnqueens
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New user
Oklahoma
77 Posts

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Hi,

Boy it's pretty tough to chime in after the very pretty Ruth Rice. After all, Silk King say's it all.

This time I feel as someone who has loved silk magic for almost fifty years, I might have a couple ideas you might want to try.

First of all good quality silks are costly. That's why I'm always looking to buy them on sale, or secondhand.

I don't know anything else that packs so small, and plays so well.

What else can be more enchanting then flickering fire, but dancing, floating, flashing brilliantly colored silks.

you can produce a small mountain of silks from a loaded hat, and covince everybody that they could never have come out of that hat. It must be magic.

Now here some things I've learned over the years.

1. You should never store your silks folded. Silk is a natural fiber.

Any antique dealer can tell you stories of beautiful old silk bedspreads, dresses, etc. that people bring in destroyed having been folded, and stored.

Here's my chosen way to protect my beautiful silks. First I keep on hand archival tissue paper (white, no dyes). It cost a little more, but it's worth it. Also a roll of archival tape (good to stop tears in your fav. books, posters, etc.)

I cover a paper tube, or PVC Pipe with several layers of tissue paper. Laying my silks out flat I start rolling all the same color silks together keeping a layer of tissue between each silk. Afterwards I put the rolled up silks in another tube with some desicant packs (To protect against moisture.) & then cap the ends.

My largest tube is 6ft. for my 6X6 foot silks. I fold them when I pack for a show, and after the show they go back in the tube.

I'm not trying tell you what to do. This is what I do. If you want to try it you can find archival products on the internet. I buy mine on eBay.

2. Good silks are expensive, but if you use them for magic they're going to get dirty & become worn. I won't use them in that condition.

I've seen magicians produce a 36 inch silk that was so wrinkled it looked like it was an 18 inch silk. When it gets that bad either trash it, or do like I do, and wash the poor thing.

I hand wash my silks in warm water using a tiny bit of gentle soap like Woolite, I've even used baby shampoo (these days I'd use a little OxiClean.) Then rinse them gently in cool water till all the soap is gone.

I gently squeeze the water out of them (don't wring!)

Now spread them out on a clean mirror, or window, and softly dry them with your hair dryer. As they dry they start to peel off the glass ready to store, or go to the next show.

You'll be amazed at how they come back to life.

3. Sooner or later they must be retired, but don't just toss them. Cut off good corners to glue in your thumb tips, or reinforce corners of silks used for where hooks, loops, etc. are used to produce, or vanish them.

I'm sorry I've talked to long. I just hope some of you will find something in this you can use!

Good Silk Magic! ..... Manyfingers
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20496 Posts

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After reading kingsnqueens' post I was reminded of a simple but basic point. The better magicians' silks are usually marketed in paper envelopes.

This is true of SKS (Rice), P&A, and Dovelite. (Cheaper generics and "blends" are usually in glassine envelopes and can contain glue fillers: Sericin.)

I don't recommend storing your good silks in paper envelops. Often the paper after years in storage will "yellow" or even "tobacco" stain the silks. I prefer the Freezer weight ZipLoc bags. Stains and punctures are the two things that ultimately ruin good silks. Silk fiber is stronger than many metals.

(Since these bags can come from the grocery store, you don't have to explain buying them either. They don't come out of your "magic budget"! LOL)

Enjoy!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
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