Last spring I bought some silk yarn to dye.
I 've shown it before in my Midwest Moonlight scarf. It is beautiful stuff. However, thanks to Sara, I now realize that it had not been properly processed when I purchased it. Can you say *YUCK* ? I can... YUCK! Sara helped me with some new vocabulary words (no, not YUCK), sericin and soda ash. I have been reprocessing this yarn. What a job. First, I simmered the khaki colored silk in an alkali bath for a couple hours. Then I poured off the sericin laden water.
That's the really yucky dark coffee colored wash water. Smells like what it looks like. Not coffee. Then I rinsed. Here's the kicker, after the brown left, the yarn started to bleed lots and lots of blue! BLUE!
I rinsed until the blue was gone. It took many more very hot
rinses. The final rinse left me with a lovely silver grey yarn.
Ready to dye.
All this can only lead me to believe that the original manufacturer did not process this fiber correctly. Obviously, I am not an expert, a beginner at best. But seeing all of this is enough to make me wonder how often is it unsafe to wear commercially dyed fabrics. I've long held the belief that you should NEVER wear anything until it's been washed. At least get the formaldehyde out of it. Who'd want perc or whatever cleaning agents they use next to your skin. Well, let me tell you, after this little pre-dye foray, I am wondering if any of it is what it seems. At least I know the stuff I dye has cleared. This commercial stuff was dyed on top of uncleared dye on top of uncleaned silk. Can you say YUCK?
After all that, I needed a walk. It was drizzly and cool and the light was perfect. I visited my Rock.
Then it was time to dye some silk. Coming up next...