This file is a collection of various messages having the common theme of
using silk paper in feltmaking. The information is primarily from the
feltmaker's list. I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having
to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and
sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, most of the message
IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter. The comments made in these
messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy
of the information given by the individual authors. Please respect the time
and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status
of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from
these messages, please give credit to the orignator(s).
Pat Spark, Manager of the Feltmaker's List.
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INDEX QUESTION/ANSWER TOPICS
WHAT IS SILK PAPER?
Gallery of silk paper items.
|IS SILK THE ONLY FIBER YOU CAN USE IN THIS WAY?||HOW DO YOU MAKE AND USE CORN STARCH GLUE FOR SILK PAPER?|
|WHAT 'GLUES' ARE USED FOR MAKING THE PAPER?||HOW DO YOU USE SPRAY STARCH AS GLUE FOR SILK PAPER?|
|Web sites for making non-soluble silk paper. Cannot be used for felt
Nancy Ballestros' page on making silk paper.
Deb Meinke's page on making silk paper.
Karen Selk's Silk Fusion version of silk paper.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS POSTED TO THE FELTMAKERS' LIST ABOUT SILK PAPER
Back to Index
WHAT IS SILK PAPER?
See Pat Spark's
Notes on Silk Paper.
Also called silk fusion or sometimes silk felt, this is a glued together textile, using silk or other fibers.
IS SILK THE ONLY FIBER YOU CAN USE IN THIS WAY?
*Pat Spark: No, you can use the same methods and glue together any fibrous materials. I have seen llama, mohair, and various types of wool used, as well as silk.
WHAT 'GLUES' ARE USED FOR MAKING THE PAPER?
*Pat Spark: I have seen or heard of people using: methylcellulose (also called wall-paper paste); spray starch; and corn starch.
HOW DO YOU MAKE AND USE CORN STARCH GLUE FOR SILK PAPER?
*Ilana Thu, 02 Mar 2006.
I was so excited when I learned this technique. It allowed me to cut very precise lettering out and place it onto my work and not have it shift or distort. And it also let me put on other elements but with more control than I had in the past -------- although I also use the felting needle for that purpose quite successfully too. Kathleen Hill taught me this technique and if you teach it on you should credit her not me.
The gel takes a while
to cool so make it early. You can keep it in an air tight container in the
fridge for several days…………but I like it best fresh.
1 part (eg ˝ C) cornstarch
2/3 part (eg 1/3 C) lukewarm water
Wisk the cornstarch into the water until the mixed very well
2-3 parts (eg 1 1 ˝ C) boiling water (right from the
Wisk briskly as the very hot water is added. It should form a gel. Keep adding water until the gel is fairly thin.
Allow to cool.
I lay the fibres out on a piece of screen or netting that is bigger than I want the finished piece of paper to be. I lay the fibres out the same way I lay them out for felting. 3-5 thin layers should be enough. I then fold the screen over the fibres or lay another piece on top, whatever works. I add a bit of soap or dish detergent to some warm water and then press the water into the fibres through the screening using a sponge.
Just in case I flip the whole package over and press the water into the fibres again. Mop up any excess water.
Next use the sponge to press the cornstarch gel into the fibres in the same way. Mop up excess. You want to do this from both sides too but you also don’t want to overload the fibres with cornstarch. You’ll get the hang of how much is just enough after a few tries.
Allow to dry completely. This takes quite a while though you can hasten it with a blow dryer if you have the patience.
Peel the paper off of the screen. It will have the pattern from the netting on it but that comes out in the felting.
To felt using the paper lay out your batt as you usually would. Cover with screen and wet down. Remove the screen. Place your paper cuts on the top and cover with screen. Gently apply hot soapy water with the sponge. Begin felting very gently. If you have used lots of silk or other fibres that don’t felt in the paper you want to go very slowly and gently giving the wool fibres underneath the best chance to grab onto those fibres and hold them in place. Lift the screen to check the progress and also to prevent the piece from felting to the screen. Once the fibres have begun to grab you can be more aggressive and carry on as usual.
I find Merino grabs Silk very well.
This paste method gives you control of your fibres but washes cleanly away in the felting process leaving no residue. The cut edges give a nice clean look to the shapes. If you have used all silk you will be amazed just how clean -- if you have used some wool the fibres will migrate a bit more giving a slightly softer look to the edges in the finished work. It kind of looks like the rugs that Theresa has been teaching without the black outlines.
Another way I use the paste is to just dip elements of my design into the gel, squeeze off the excess and then place them on the surface of my prepared batt. E.g. yarns or lace. Wet the background batt down first.
Kathleen told me that you can also use wallpaper paste which is nice because can be mixed cold. It will wash out too. On the down side it contains preservatives so you should wear a dust mask when you mix it up and she mentioned that it dries out your hands too so I've never tried it. (NOTE FROM PAT: Methyl Cellulose is wallpaper paste without the preservatives.)
Another tip I have for precision when making letters/stars/whatever is to needlefelt a flat piece and then cut your letter or whatever out of that. I wanted to do a piece with each letter a different colour but didn't want to make 12 tiny bits of paper and then wait for them to dry so I tried this. Just be sure you don't needle so far that you go past soft felt. Oh and usually I flip the work to catch in the beards on the back when I needlefelt but for this purpose they are best left out to aid in the wet felting later. Of course that only really works well with wool not so much with silks and other non-felting fibres.
HOW DO YOU USE SPRAY STARCH AS GLUE FOR SILK
*Julie Williams. March 3, 2006. Buy a can of spray starch and a roll of baking paper (ungreased). Lay out your silk on a cut off piece of the paper, as many layers as you will want for your project, spray it well with the spray starch, lay another piece of the baking paper over the top. In the meantime, have your iron heating up and then press with the iron until dry, with the paper between the iron and the silk. When it is dry, you have a lovely piece of silk paper ready to cut into shapes for your felt.