Silk paper is a wonderful textured surface which embroiderers can use in so many ways. It is easy to make and has a beautiful lustre and surface, making it so much fun to stitch into, or to work further on.
You will need:
- 2 pieces of netting
- silk fibres
- water, detergent, bowl, paintbrush
- textile medium
- Lay a sheet of plastic on your working surface. Lay a piece of net on top.
- Tear away 20-30cm of silk fibre. With the palm of your hand, hold one end of the silk to the upper left corner of the net. Using your other hand, pull out a length of fibre about 2cm wide and 10cm long and lay these fibres down. Continue this way, working down the net, overlapping the rows by 2-3 cm each row. Work until you cover the net to a size which suits you.
- Lay two more layers of fibre. Place the middle layer at right angles to the top and bottom layers. Keep the fibres as parallel as possible because this will help maintain the lustre of the silk.
- Cover the top layer with another piece of net. Mix dishwashing liquid with warm water (about 1 tsp to 4 cups of water) and apply to both sides of the fibres, using a clean household paint brush. Make sure that you saturate the silk and mop up any surplus with a sponge. This solution will help to break up the surface tension so that the fibres will absorb the solution.
- Next, mix the textile medium 50/50 with water and generously apply to both sides of the silk again using a paintbrush.
- Dry in the shade on a cake rack, or mesh. Do not dry in direct sunlight for this can weaken the silk fibres.
- When it is completely dry, remove the net carefully. Alternately, you can remove the net carefully before drying but be aware that the texture may be different.
- If you wish, iron the paper before you begin working on it.
Ⓒ Dale Rollerson 2020