• I have a few questions about the steps after the silk has been printed, as I'm not entirely happy with my degree of color retention. Here's my understanding of the process:

    Print the fabric
    Allow to dry and then rinse until no longer slippery from the size
    After 24 hours, heat set by ironing
    Wait a couple of weeks before washing with Synthrapol.

    To heat set the paints, how long should I iron the fabric and with how hot an iron?

    Does that quick rinse remove enough of the alum to prevent potential damage to the fabric while you wait the 2 weeks before washing? That part makes me nervous.

  • I have been finding that silk isn't all that absorbent and the less alum the better. I revised the directions recently to say 2 teaspoons of alum per gallon for the fabric soak, and I think it is better. I think Less alum means it isn't caked on the fabric with the color flaking off when the alum does. So, I think the first step is reducing the amount of alum. I am sorry if you used the old 2 tablespoons, buyt that was what I had read in several places.

    Once the paint is dry, you are not at much risk of losing the color just by rinsing. It is the mechanical pressure of the washing machine that is the problem. So rinse to your hearts content and nake sure all the alum is removed from your silk so it doesn't dry it out.

    You want to iron at 300 degrees for 30 sec each part of the fabric to get a good heat set. Hand washing is still recommended. I don't think silk really likes being machine washed.
  • So a thorough rinsing (as opposed to washing with Synthrapol) is sufficient to remove enough alum that the fabric can safely sit for 2 weeks and not be degraded?

    And thank you thank you for the ironing advice! Somewhere I had read that 10 minutes of ironing was necessary. That was a lot of ironing for a batch of 10 scarves!!