Monday, July 11, 2011

Creating silk paper and other fibre films - Introduction Part 1

Since I have had a drawer full of silk fibres for a while now, I decided it was time to experiment with them.  Also I am working on a piece which requires several natural textures, so experimentation is likely to help me with this.  Silk paper is very useful and can be stitched, cut, coloured, molded and manipulated in many many ways for use in fibre art.
I have always loved the feel of silk.  Of course, now there are many synthetic fabrics which mimic silk, and I love them too.  My niece, also loved shiny fabric as a child and had to have a piece with her.  She called it her “Tikki”.
In my researching this blog, it has grown quite large, so will probably take up several blogs by the time I am finished with it.

I have divided up the methods into five main types and have applied these methods to all fibres, not just silk.
We would call the fabric felt if it is made from wool,

and silk paper if from silk,
or something else entirely if made from other natural fibres, synthetics or even fusible fibres.

As I have shown in the diagram above, there are five methods I will speak about for making fabric or paper out of fibres etc.  Some of these I have alluded to before and I will try and include these links as I go along.

I have also broken up the many variations and embellishments to these fabrics into wet and dry variations:

Wet variations
  • Colouring sprays (Starburst spray and Distress ink shown)

  • Tea and other natural colours (Tumeric powder, tea leaves and tea shown)

  • Metal or other flakes (metallic flakes, glitter and bronze pulver shown)
Natural additions, leaves, petals etc (Small dried flowers, and leaves shown)
 Angelina or other metallic fibres (Angelina shown)
 Scrap fabrics
 Yarns and threads
 Molding and casting can also be done at the wet stage, but I will cover this in detail in a later post.
    Dry Variations, I will also cover in a later post
    • Colouring sprays
    • Tea and other natural colours
    • Weaving
    • Embossing
    • Stitching
    • Other embellishments
    I will include a few variations with each method.
    I will also give a list of my many references in a later post in this series.
    So, to make silk paper interesting, you need to collect up lots of bits and pieces, scraps and flat found objects for inclusion.
    I will cover the types of silk fibres available in the next post.