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Interfacing for Raw Silk
dintas
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dintas
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AUSTRALIA
Member since 10/13/09
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Date: 6/13/11 9:00 AM

Hello, does anybody know if it's possible to fuse interfacing to raw silk? Is it recommended? I bought some off white raw silk from a dressmaker's garage sale and want to make a jacket from it, and was just wondering what I should do about interfacing. I'm thinking of interlining with cotton flannel, and fusing interfacing to the flannel, but I just wondered also whether I could do it straight on the silk itself.

By the way, how does raw silk wear? Does it pill? Can you wash it in the washing machine?

Joyce

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dmariecouture
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Date: 6/14/11 2:15 PM

Joyce,
I would never recommend using fusible interfacing with silk, as it is difficult to get it hot enough to really fuse well without damaging the silk, and anyway the fusible really spoils the look of silk. I haven't tried it with raw silk, but I've made the mistake of using fusible with dupioni and it made it look like cheap curtains. The idea of fusing it to the underlining is much better.
- Danielle

Elona
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In reply to dintas


Date: 6/14/11 3:15 PM

Another factor to consider is that sericin, the proteinaceous 'glue' that the silkworm uses to stick the fibers together to make the cocoon, stinks. Sniff your raw silk carefully when it's both wet and dry to make sure that whatever you make of it doesn't smell like a fishmarket under a hot sun when worn.

Therisa
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Therisa
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In reply to dintas


Date: 6/14/11 4:20 PM

Where do you wish to use the interfacing? I have some raw silk outfits where the neckband is interfaced, and it worked out just fine. Can you try to interface a scrap and see how you like it?

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dintas
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dintas
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In reply to Elona


Date: 6/15/11 0:50 AM

Thanks for that tip, and Danielle too. I'll be sure to check for smells. I've never come across that piece of advice in the Fabric Sewing Guide nor More Fabric Savvy...


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dintas
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dintas
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In reply to Therisa


Date: 6/15/11 0:53 AM

I'm thinking to interface the whole jacket front for more structure. But most tailoring advice is for wools and tweeds and such. Not sure about how to go about a raw silk jacket. I'll sample it first. But again, I'm not sure how much structure to go for.....I've got a bolt of knit fusible interfacing-should I just play safe and use in on the interlining, and maybe use two layers for more body?

Joyce

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lareine
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In reply to Elona


Date: 6/15/11 0:59 AM

Quote: Elona
Another factor to consider is that sericin, the proteinaceous 'glue' that the silkworm uses to stick the fibers together to make the cocoon, stinks.

Is that why knitted silk garments smell so bad? I hate when stores get in all the knitted silk tops and twin sets in autumn (at least when such things are fashionable) because the stench is so bad. I don't know how people wear it, but I'm told that some people can't smell it at all.
Elona
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In reply to lareine


Date: 6/15/11 1:29 AM

Yup, that's it. And regular washing, etc., won't remove it. Protein is hard to break down; you have to go at it with high heat or strong chemicals (like permanent wave solution), so home treatment is generally pointless. In my experience, if you can smell that stink, you might just as well pitch the fabric out.

However, the more highly processed a silk is, the more sericin is removed. You never smell it in dyed crepe de chine, for example.

Wildcatwmn
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Date: 6/15/11 12:31 PM

I would not fuse directly to the silk (except for maybe a color or armhole lining). As posted above, you will lose the natural look of it, but fusing to an interlining would work well.

No, you should not wash this fabric in a washing machine...it will really really mess with it and probably make it useless or the finished garment useless. Hand washing is usually best, and yes it will probably pill over time if you wear it a lot (like a blazer for work). If you are just wearing it occasionally, it should hold up fine.
-- Edited on 6/15/11 12:33 PM --

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Silknmore
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Date: 6/16/11 9:24 AM

What a great garage sale find. I'm a big fan of silk organza as an underlining - easy to work with and great results. To save a few $$ I usually purchase from Dharma Trading, although am not sure about the shipping to Aust.

Good luck and show us the finished jacket.

Annette

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Silknmore
http://fabricateandmira.wordpress.com/

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