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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Silk Dying (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Bob Sanders,

As I have mentioned previously, this type of communication is not sufficent for an a subject this huge and complicated. Previously, Mary inquired on this topic: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=54&3 you may want to combine the strings for completeness, but I will ask you or Lucy to go here and read over this site: http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/32......yes.html I did and it give tons of information on dying different type of material, including silk. After all they are the experts and sell the material/dyes as well. It is very informative from creating to care after dying. As I have read a lot of the material on the site, I think it would be best to have large pots and a stove and sink set up for the process. I don't think Lucy would like perminent dyes being spilled in her kitchen. Smile You may be in the dog house otherwise. Smile

For silk screening techniques, I suggest you search for art supplies as there is several methods for silk screening simple pictures on material. I am sure you have a good artist supply store in your large area of the country and that would be a good place to visit as well.

There is always more ways to do a process, so there is not any one answer to most art processes.
kashmir
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The weight of the silk definitely affects the color. I dye silks for a living and have dyed the northern lights, sunburst, rainbow, etc. It's very tense work, but very rewarding when finished and you have an amazingly beautiful silk!
Al Leach
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59 Posts

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I enjoyed watching the Abbott's folks dyeing silks for the Mammoth Silk here http://www.abbottmagic.com/Mammoth-Silk-......oryId=-1

I would like to see what Dale Salwak ended up doing with his Smile It would have to be something spectacular.
Mary Mowder
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Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
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Thanks Al,

That was fun and informative.

Also, Karen is a likable Gal.

-Mary Mowder
hugmagic
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Inner circle
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I assume that Dale will use in the end of his silk fountain for which I just did over 60 silks in various shades of blue and purple for.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Al Leach
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Richard, that sounds like it might just be the most beautiful silk fountain Smile I have been a lurker here at the Café for a long time and I will say that visiting your website always brings me much joy. EVERYTHING looks so beautiful, well made and as if much consideration and planning was put into every item.

I have only worked on dyeing background materials and coverings made of cotton. I have not graduated to silk and really I am sort of afraid of it.

In my readings I noticed that there were a couple of pages in the Charvet book on Ade Duval that discuss what was involved in building "A Rhapsody in Silk" this text mentions a book on the hand decoration of fabrics by Frances J. Kafka, who I see is reviewed and carried on Amazon and other book sites.

The Charvet book describes how Duval never laundered or dry cleaned his silks because they only lasted for about eight weeks before they were unsuitable for his performances. Do people get more life out of these types of silks today?

The Huge Fantasio silk act using the Rices rabbit as appliques that is on youtube looks like it was hand decorated when you stop the vid and look at the frozen images. This to me is a really beautiful combination of techniques and perhaps one of the more memorable moments in silk magic. I am glad that this moment in magic performance has been preserved Smile(I think this was from the Ed Sullivan show that featured the US debut of the Beatles)

I have to believe that Mary has set her self apart from her market by having something different, this is a good thing. I also believe that Richard most likely has lots of pictures that he does not post of his custom work too because it looks like he is the secret weapon for many top working pros Smile
hugmagic
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I have made three of these fountains for Dale. If you saw the appearance on Masters of Illusion, you saw the one I made. It is a very subtle changing of the colors that makes it so effective. I have very careful measurements of the dye colors and various combinations to make the shades. Since I am only dyeing one or two of each color, it is not a real cost effective version to have made. But then again no one copies it. And most guys would not take the time to fold up that many silks. I keep threatening to make myself a larger version with more shades but never seem to get around to it.

As for Duval, the reason his silk wore out so fast was the momme was extremely thin, almost a 4 momme. This was the only way he could fit it all into the tubes.

Speaking of Fantasio, he once did a version of the Duval act with all the tubes. Landis Smith did also and I was fortunate to see his performance. Landis also added in the original Germain butterfly effect into the routine. Yes it was one the Ed Sullivan show with the Beatles.

My friend, Steve Dick, wrote up the Ken Griffin version of the silk act. I have not had time to put it all together and market it yet. But it is a much more practical method of performing it. I have made the phantom tubes, switch tubes and drumheads to do this act a couple of time. With a slight modification of the tubes, you can cut out a couple of the switches and reloads.

There was a magician from Finland, Julius Sundman ( I think) who made sold a lot of custom silks in the Sphinx. Dorny did some incredible silk painting.

I think one reason some of the same type of work is not done today is the changing of the dyes. Recently, my primary blue dye was discontinued. I have a good supply but sometime it will give out. Marshall, who made a lot of silks, use diamond dyes and some others that are no longer available. He had some very unique color shading that I have tried and tried to duplicate without success.

There are several photos of my custom work on my website.

Working on silk is much different than cotton. The dye travels much faster and colors do not react the same with silk. But the end result is very, very satisfying. Of course, I have plenty of mistakes on hand to prove the time and effort needed to learn this skill.

BTW, when I did the 16 foot tie dyes I worked outside. I set up three sheets of plywood as ironing boards to iron out the silks. It was an adventure to be sure. And I hemmed, dyed, and ironed it all by myself 100%. Though I could have used some help, none was available.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
malaki
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This is an old thread, but still a viable one.

I purchased one of the silk dying kits from Michaels or Hobbit Lobbit. I do not remember the brand at this time, but will check this evening to update the post.

After reading all the way through the instructions, I drew my design (lightly in pencil) onto two, identical white silks that came with the kit (about an 8 momme silk) - one with a dragon, the other with a phoenix. I pinned them to the fiber board that came with the kit, but pined them so that they stayed suspended above the board. This was so I would not have a bleeding issue, due to capillary action, with the silk and the board creating a bridge that would allow the dye to jump the sizing. I traced over the penciled lines with the resist/sizing, drawing the outlines of the designs. Once this was dry, I used a brush to plant the dye into the center of the various cells created by the resist. This allowed the dye to creep along the silk until it encountered the resist, where it would stop. The key is to use as little dye as possible, allowing the capillary action of the silk to distribute the dye. After dying the critters, I then applied the dye to the background, giving it a tie dyed/batik appearance, orange, yellow and red for the phoenix, greens and blues for the dragon. I allowed the dye to set as long as the instructions advised, then unpinned the silks and washed them separately in cool water, again according to the provided instructions. This helped to set the dye, remove any surplus dye, the pencil lines and the water based resist as well. I spread them out on a mirror to let them dry, smoothed.
These two silks make for an unusual silk dying effect that has lasted for several years now.

I am, by the way, simply astounded by the sheer size of the silks that Richard has dyed! Well done, sir!
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