What makes playsilks special? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 10-22-2011, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been shopping for DD's Christmas presents, and was just about to put out the money to buy a few big play silks. However, tonight I went into Joanne's Fabric and they have all kinds of fabrics that to me, seem like they could serve the same purpose as playsilks. I guess I'd need to hem the edges or put the 'no fray' liquid on them. I know I'm not the first person to have thought of this as a budget-friendly alternative, so is there some underlying reason that I'm missing that most people use real silk for playsilks? I know that Waldorf has an emphasis on natural materials but again...when you're on a tight budget, is it really the most important thing?


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#2 of 5 Old 10-23-2011, 08:00 AM
 
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I guess because it's light and airy and strong and so receptive to dye.  I am on a very tight budget, too.  Bending Birches was selling playsilks last year and I bought a couple--wonderful!  It was part of her fundraiser for her teacher training.  Dharma Trading Post has the cheapest prices I know of for undyed silks and I bought four from there and one to serve as a canopy for our play stands.  I dyed them with Procion dye, but you can use koolaid or food coloring, as well.  It was very economical and much cheaper than Sarah's Silks.  I might add, in my limited experience, the silks from Sarah's Silks are thinner than ones you can get from Dharma Trading Post.  They have several thicknesses available.  All the same, my daughter plays with some light hemmed pieces of fabric, too.  The silks do get the most action and the colors are so lovely when the sun comes through them. 


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#3 of 5 Old 10-23-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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I also started by buying the ones from dharma and dying them with kool aid (dylon from jo-ann's worked as well).  Though of course the ones I've gotten from etsy are TDF.   I agree with appalachiamama that they are just so light an airy and I will add that no other natural fabric is like that. You can get some synthetics, though they still might be heavier.  We also have some pieces of colored gauze that I bought for cheaper playstand canopies that get used frequenty.

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#4 of 5 Old 10-24-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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I bought blanks from Dharma too.  They're much less expensive that way, and I think they're better quality than Sarah's Silks.  And they come in all different sizes which the kids love - we have some long sash type silks and they are very popular. Plus you get to make an activity out of dyeing them. I used vinegar and food coloring.  It is really very simple and fun.

 

I think silk in particular is used because it is a natural fiber, it is very soft but very strong, it is float-y and drapes beautifully, and it is so pretty in sunlight.

 

That being said I think any kind of scarf-y material works.  It just needs to be pretty thin if you want the kiddos to be able to tie them - anything thick or stiff - even quilt weight fabric, for example - is going to be too hard for them to tie around themselves or objects.  I do think hevier weight is fine for canopies - we have some cotton gauze for our playframe.  It still has a nice soft, light look.


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#5 of 5 Old 10-24-2011, 04:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SageR View Post

I bought blanks from Dharma too.  They're much less expensive that way, and I think they're better quality than Sarah's Silks.  And they come in all different sizes which the kids love - we have some long sash type silks and they are very popular. Plus you get to make an activity out of dyeing them. I used vinegar and food coloring.  It is really very simple and fun.

 

I think silk in particular is used because it is a natural fiber, it is very soft but very strong, it is float-y and drapes beautifully, and it is so pretty in sunlight.

 

That being said I think any kind of scarf-y material works.  It just needs to be pretty thin if you want the kiddos to be able to tie them - anything thick or stiff - even quilt weight fabric, for example - is going to be too hard for them to tie around themselves or objects.  I do think hevier weight is fine for canopies - we have some cotton gauze for our playframe.  It still has a nice soft, light look.


This!  We buy from Dharma and dye with food coloring and sometimes Koolaid.  Though, we also have fabric scraps from Joanne's and larger swaths of velvets and such that I've bought and have used those a lot.  I like a variety of textures for play but for decorating our nature table, I prefer silks.

 


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