How an ENTWINEMENTS scarf is made-3

4 October 2006

This is part 3, part 1 and 2 were earlier this week. Today the work is unglamorous and time comsuming– to prepare the silk for pole wrapping it must be washed and ironed. No one ever asks how long did it take you to iron this scarf… they ask how long did it take you to pleat this scarf. The real answer is that it depends on how well ironed it was.
We left the dyed silk hanging on the clothes line. To hang it up we sorted it by style . Now it is easy to take down and store in totes until we need it. We obviously dyed more than enough for one set of poles.
scarves tote.jpg
When it has been decided what we need in one color it is picked from the storage totes and put into the washing machine. We wash with hot water, delicate cyle and use a bit of Orvus paste. Remember the silk went from the dye machine to be dried– there was no washing. This is the only washing before pleating.
washing .jpg
The hot water is to remove any excees dye ( there isn’t very much). We use Orvus paste because it is cheap and leaves no residue that can interfer with subsequent dyeing. The washing machine was the first of the new generation; front loaders, water efficient ( max. water fill 6 gal. instead of 18 gal. for a top loader). Using the machine to wash the silk seems like it would be time efficient but when you have to deal with the tangled mass of silk you wonder.
wet silk.jpg
You can see a mix of purple and black scarves just out of the washing machine. They have been through a fast spin cycle because we iron the silk wet, and this gives us the right moisture content.

We iron the silk with a mangle or ironer, an Ironrite, because it is perfect for flat rectangles and you can sit instead of stand. Less operator fatigue ( a phrase I learned fron the iron cleaner tube). These were manufactured in 1950’s and you can still find a few around. But you have to cover the roll and maintain it.
Then the final folding and shaping is done here:
Careful work at this stage makes the wrapping go smoothly and fast. Here are many scarves ready for pole wrapping. Quite a transformation from that tangled wet mess. Now they are sensuous and smooth to the touch.
hanging colors.jpg


4 Responses to “How an ENTWINEMENTS scarf is made-3”

  1. Marguerite Says:

    Beautiful, thanks for sharing. Would you mind telling me what black dye you use? I have never found a black that I like. Thanks.


  2. Karren Says:

    I use Lanaset Black for silk. Lanaset is for protein fibers, such as wool and silk, won’t dye cotton. A black for cotton is more of a challange– there are various entries on that subject.


  3. Diane Says:

    Wow! I have the same Fridigaire washing machine bought for the same reason of only using 6 gallons of water. I also have an Ironrite that I haven’t set up in years. It must be time to *press* it into service.
    Thanks for the tutorial!


  4. glennis Says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I am trying to follow along -a great alternative to a workshop since I have been unable to find one in my area. An ironer! Never knew one existed! Ironing the silk wet/damp-a big improvement! So many great details…..


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