Saturday, June 29, 2013

Silk Paper

I recently learned how to make silk paper at a craft fair. It is not really paper, more like a silk fabric or felt. Whatever you call it you can then use it in any textile work you want to.

I started with these packets of silk. Two were mulberry silk and one was a silk hankie.  you don't have to use these, it can be any fibers you have. You can also add strands of other fibers as well if you want (like Angelina strands).

 You need to pull some strands of silk off the bundle to make your paper. Some of the silk separates very easily but other types like the hankie are harder to pull apart. I wore rubber gloves because the silk sticks to any rough skin (which I have a lot of) but that is not necessary.

 Lay all the strands in any pattern you want on a craft sheet. You can make a pattern if you want but the design is up to you. If you want thick paper at the end lay down more silk. If you want a lacy look leave holes. This is where you get to be creative.

When I learned this technique we used a piece of tulle underneath and one on top to hold the silk down but I found it difficult to remove at the end so I just lay it on the craft mat instead.

 Next I put a drop or two of detergent (any type) into a spray bottle and filled it with water.  Use that to spray the silk. Get it quite wet because the soapy water makes the textile medium penetrate the silk better. When it is wet through use a sponge to remove any excess water.

Textile medium is the glue that is going to hold the silk together. You can use any brand, in the class I used Jo Sonjas but here I have used Folk Art brand. Dilute the medium with water (about 1/3 medium to 2/3 water) and use a foam brush to paint it on your silk. Make sure the medium goes all the way through your silk. Leave it to dry overnight and then you can peel it off your craft sheet.
 You will end up with a piece of fabric that you can use any way you like. 

 Your silk paper will have some interesting textures.

I used silk paper on this index card.

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