View Full Version : Conditioning silk yarn

11-06-2007, 02:55 PM
Hi there :-)

Been away for a while cause my shoulder died - but it seems to finally have come back to life, woot! I have contented myself with playing Hellgate London ;-) and dying yarn to sell.

My problem is this : I have shiny silk smooth yarn, which I dyed using procion mx dyes and then rinsing with synthrapol, and now the colours are absolutely gorgeous but the shine and smoothness have gone from the yarn. I was wondering if anyone knows of anything I can use either to get the shine back, or avoid this happening in the future by doing something different. If I'm selling the yarn, I want it to be of a high quality - and just because something's a really pretty colour doesn't make it ok. Are there fabric conditioners or rinses I can use on silk?

Right, I'm off again to put another heat wrap and a bunch of magnets on my shoulder - hope everyone's well :-)
Fi xxx

11-06-2007, 05:04 PM
Ok, I've never dyed silk yarn, but I have the book "Dyeing to Knit" by Elaine Eskesen that says this about dyeing silk:

"It dyes more quickly than wool, and it is able to react with the dye molecule at lower temperature: 185 degrees Fahrenheit (or 85 degrees Celsius). Dyeing silk at too high a temperature can damage the fiber, which then loses its luster and strength."

The author goes on to say that when preparing the silk fiber for dyeing, she lets it soak for much longer than wool, because it needs more time to soak. Like overnight.

So, I don't really know about conditioning silk yarn after it has lost its shine, but maybe your water is too hot while you are dyeing it?

I hope that helps!

11-06-2007, 07:54 PM
There was just a big discussion about silk losing its luster after washing on the Colourmart Yahoo! Group. One suggestion was to run the silk through the dryer on low for a while. Another suggestion was to whap it against the wall. Apparently the abrasion can help bring the shine back.

Unless, of course, you damaged it because your water was too hot. Then there's no hope, sadly.

11-08-2007, 03:27 PM
Thanks everyone :-) It was actually Colourmart silk I dyed - but it turns out I was premature in worrying! Once I balled it from the skein, either the abrasion from my fingers while running it through or just a different point of view has made it all shiny again! It's really pretty and smooth once more *grin*

It's so pretty but I think I might have to give it away as a present. Grrr. Oh well, can always do more....

11-08-2007, 03:33 PM
I didn't have any suggestions, but I loved that you named it Defying Gravity! ;)

(Okay, I just realized that that was an old blog post. But still, I love it.)