Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Soy Silk Fusion

Right now, I'm in the middle of designing pieces for two collaborative projects with artists from around the world which is an exciting prospect. One project is hush, hush and secret but the other is..... well, it's a bit hush, hush too but I can at least share a step-by-step on how to make the background I'm using for the project.

I'm creating a sort of "fabric" from soy silk fibre - a bi-product left over from the manufacture of tofu. It's really soft and very colourful. When you fluff it apart, it looks like fairy floss! It comes from a completely renewable resource making it environmentally friendly.

So let's get started!

Gather the materials together: soy silk fibre (mine is from Conjoined Creations), Textile Medium, freezer paper, tulle, paper towel and water.

Pour the textile medium into a cup. How much will depend on what size piece of fabric you want to end up with. I've just used enough to cover the bottom of the cup. Dilute with water in a ratio of 1 part textile medium to 3 parts water.Pull a piece of soy silk from the roving...... and fluff the fibre up.....Build up layers of the fibre on the freezer paper. A depth of about 2.5cm (1") is good. The thicker this layer is, the more dense your fabric will be. Place the tulle over the fibre. Pour the diluted textile medium over the tulle. You need enough to wet all the fibres, but not so much that it rolls off the freezer paper.Gently pat the solution into the fibre, spreading it evenly. Don't be afraid to use your hands for this - the solution will wash off easily. Work any air bubbles out towards the edges. Blot away the excess solution with paper towels. Remove the tulle and wash it in soapy water. Set the fabric aside to dry for a few hours or you can speed up drying by placing it in the sun or dry it carefully with a heat gun.Once dry, peel it from the freezer paper and it's ready for use in your project. This piece will become a pennant but here's a piece I've turned into a sewing kit. Even the mannequins (Krafty Lady art moulds) are dressed in soy silk fabric!
This tutorial is available for download as a printable pdf from my website: Mill Lane Studio.

Would you like to comment?

  1. I haven't tried the soy silk yet so will have to go look for it. Another quick way of creating this type of background is to use the starch spray instead of the textile medium and ironing it between gladbake or similar.


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