Another Use For Silk

A member of my art quilt group clued me in to yet another way to use silk fabrics, especially men’s ties. She found a tutorial by Linda Heines, who uses neck ties to dye silk scarves. The key is to use all silk.

I had to try this technique as I had old ties and various silk scraps. Linda arranges her materials carefully to create attractive scarves. Since I wasn’t making scarves I got a bit experimental with my combinations.

The technique is easy. You layer your ties/scraps on a piece of silk, such as a scarf, and wrap it all around a dowel to make a tube. After securing the tube with string, rubber bands, etc., you remove the dowel and boil the tube in a big pot (not used for food) for 25 to 30 minutes. Linda adds vinegar to the water, but I tried boiling with and without it, and didn’t see any difference. Maybe it helps the silk retain the color.

After your bundle cools, unwrap it and see what you got. Here’s what I got.

For me the big advantage of this technique is I already have all the needed materials. Also, there’s no dye to rinse out. I rinsed all the fabrics once they were boiled and had little bleeding. The big disadvantage is it’s hard to control your results. If you’re willing to live with whatever you get, then you may enjoy trying it.


Filed under Fabric Printing, Techniques

10 responses to “Another Use For Silk

  1. Neat idea and cool results. I just love silk! Thanks for posting it.

  2. I saw something like this years ago and always wanted to try it. I have looked for silk ties at Goodwill but haven’t had much luck. Another project for someday!

  3. I, too, have all the items needed for this, but had planned on sewing with the silk from the ties. This looks like so much more fun! I read the info from Lynda Heines, too, but it didn’t really register with me. Timing is everything!!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jane Herbst

    Fun results! I’ll look forward to seeing your results in person and seeing what you make from your “new” fabrics.

  5. Fascinating! Who knew such a thing would work? And I know you’ll find interesting uses for the fabric you’ve created!

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