Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Building a Homemade Silk Steamer (For Steamset Dyes on Silk)

UPDATE 3/2018: I get a lot of questions on this post but this steamer was built back in 2010 so I don't remember much about how it was built. I now use Dharma's horizontal stove top steamer and Jacquard's vertical bullet steamer because I found the temperature hard to regulate in these homemade steamers.

Don built me a silk steamer for the custom project I was working on. He does such a nice job on the projects he does for me and has such an eye for detail that I thought I would share the process in photos.

You can click on the photos to enlarge them.






























8 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this.

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  2. Wow this is great! Do you think you'll get the other pix up or be able to write plans?

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  4. When do you think you will add comments/text to the pictures? I really like the design!

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    1. Hi Lenita, This post was written 8 years ago and I have never been able to sit my husband down long enough to help me type up what he is doing in each photo. Overtime I ask he says "The photos are self explanatory" He is talented but stubborn LOL. So I am sorry to say the photos may never get captions although I will give asking him one more time a try.

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  5. hi linda, and thank you so much for sharing! i have a few questions that i hope you don’t mind answering!

    i’ve never seen one of these steamers with an inner and outer tube. what is the purpose of this? i’ve seen the ones that have a colander between the top of the pot and the stove pipe (or a wok lid with holes drilled into it) - is having an inner & outer tube an alternative method, or do i need the lid with the holes in addition to the inner & outer tubes?

    also, in the 6th & 7th photos from the bottom, it looks to me like he is folding the tabs around the lip of the pot with pliers, and then putting black duct tape over the seam. is that correct? and if so, does this need to be done every time i use the steamer? or is there another way to get the water into the pot? (is it maybe poured all the way down through the tube from the top?)

    i assume the height of the steamer is just based on personal preference - so if i need to steam a bunch of silk scarves and say, some 50” wide fabric, i would need perhaps a 60” pipe so i have some space on either side. is this correct?

    lastly, a tactical question - what size pot do i need and how much water, to steam scarves for about 45 mins? i’m not even sure that’s how long it takes, as i haven’t used anything other than on of those dharma strive top steamers - and when i used that, the colors from some areas of the scarf bled all over areas of the rest of the scarf, so clearly i was doing *something* wrong!! :)

    anyway i sure do like the thought of building one vs. paying $1250 for the vertical steamer plus another $350 for the core!

    thank you again SO much!
    julia

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    1. Hi Julia, I'm sorry to say that tis steamer post was from back in 2010 and I don't remember much about this steamer. The double walls were for insulating properties because these homemade steamers are often difficult to keep at the proper temperature. I have been using Dharma's stove top steamer and the vertical steamer from Jacquard for the last 7 years. I steam for about 3 hours but many people steam for 4 hours. I always put the silk in a preheated steamer, never a cold steamer. I check the water level 1 to 2 times during the steaming process. I'm not sure if it will help you but here is a Youtube video I did on using the horizontal steamer. https://youtu.be/nOEqB8Klx80

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