Degumming silk

3 Jul

This morning is dedicated to degumming silk. It is a pleasant morning to listen to the kettle sing and watch the cat in his dream of catching hummingbirds.

I did a cold test of Habu’s Kinari N-63B, explained here:

in oak gall, persimmon and two lichens before I degummed or mordanted the silk. The silk literally sucked in the dye without any treatment. Hmmmmm, something to consider in the future.


After degumming the silk will make its way thru the mordant prep and finally the dye pot! Two skeins will make their way thru the cold process of persimmon dips and sun darkening. The second two will go thru the high alkaline lichen pot. We’ll see how it holds up. I have confidence it will!

Later this afternoon my weld flowers have simmered and are waiting for a wool dip. We’ll see if I simmered enough for 8 ounces of wool!


7 Responses to “Degumming silk”

  1. Vanessa Luce July 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Deb, I remember Daisy Dell and Faye giving me what was left of the front of a book and this person, in our past family life, was a weaver. Just thought about it as I was reading your “morning exercise”. Mom


  2. Sandra Rude July 3, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Deb, my cats don’t dream of catching hummers, they actually catch them. Cats can fly if they really want to. Your colors are beautiful, especially the lichen!


    • debmcclintock July 4, 2013 at 1:54 am #

      Thanks Sandra, Harley used to be able to bat the hummingbirds but with 3 legs now his striking balance is way off.


  3. dyeing2weave July 4, 2013 at 1:18 am #

    Serecin is also a protein that the dye bonds to. When you degum the silk it should take off the serecin and the dye with it.


    • debmcclintock July 4, 2013 at 1:56 am #

      Thanks Diane, I can always count on you for the essential science nugget! One of my friends was talking about doing shibori with degumming silk. Your statement helps me explain why results might not be what she envisions.


  4. dyeing2weave July 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    I tried it after I took Yoshiko Wada’s class. With synthetic dyes, they would break into component colors when you Degummed it so you could get really interesting results. I tried it with natural dyes and didn’t get great results. It just stripped the color where it wasn’t resisted. Her book describes the process and there are probably ways with natural dyes to get better results. I didn’t spend a lot of time on it.


    • debmcclintock July 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      Thank you! My friend also does chemical dyes so that path + degumming makes much more sense. I was thinking she would use natural dye and did not understand how she would prevent color loss when she degummed.


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