I steamed the sheep silk painting this morning using a different method for rolling the silk than I normally do. For years I have been rolling in framers paper, 2 sheets of paper between each painting and then a final piece around the whole roll to protect from it drips in the horizontal steamer. I do it a little differently for the vertical bullet steamer but will save that for another post.
There has been a lot of chat on the Silk Painters International (SPIN) Facebook Page about how people roll their silk to steam it. The discussion reminded me of a time when I had used interfacing to roll my silk in for steaming. I was commissioned to do some large paintings for a magician and stage actor to use in his stage shows.The paintings were too large to steam in my horizontal steamer but there were a lot of paintings in the order so I bought a bullet or vertical steamer. My framers paper roll was too small to roll the big paintings so I started asking around and found out that a lot of my friends that had actually studied fiber arts in collage had been taught to roll the silk in interfacing for the steaming process. The idea being that it was more gentle and flexible than the paper which can be ridged and cause wrinkles, and because it is a non-woven synthetic interfacing the dyes simply would not adhere to it and bleed. You can just keep using it over and over again and throw it in the washer when needed. You can sew pieces together to get the size you want, the sewing part is easier if you wash it first to soften it up. Also be sure that you do not buy fuseable or heat bond interfacing. You want just the old fashioned sew-in kind with some weight to it, not the really thin stuff.
I still added a piece of paper as the final wrap around the bundle to protect from drips. It may not be necessary but I wasn't in the mood to find out on this painting.
|Loading the silk painting wrapped in interfacing and an outer layer of paper into the steamer|
|After 2 hours of steaming the painting came out of the steamer damp but in excellent condition|
|When I washed the painting the dye was extremely well set and there was very little surface dye coming of in the water. After washing I rolled it in a white towel and there was not staining from unstruck surface dye.|
|The wet painting drying on the line after washing, waiting to be ironed.|