Burn test for Silk Velvet?? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 12 Old 08-01-2006, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know there are moms out there that know how to do a burn test on your fabric to help determine it's content.

I was wondering about doing it on a piece of velvet, that is supposedly 100% silk. I know that truely 100% silk velvet fabric is super rare and super expensive if you can get your hands on it. I know most 'silk velvets' are actually a 80/20 blend with rayon.

So that being said...does anyone know what it would look like if burned?

Thanks in advance!
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#2 of 12 Old 08-01-2006, 05:57 PM
 
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Silk can be a bit hard to tell from a burn test, since it's got some properties of protien fibers (like wool) and some properties of cellulose fibers (like cotton). The best thing to do is stick a snipping into some Chlorine bleach (has to be chlorine) and leave it for a while. Silk will dissolve completely in bleach, other fibers will stay partially intact.


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#3 of 12 Old 08-02-2006, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh thank you so MUCH!

Basically I ordered an entire bolt of 'silk velvet' (white, undyed) and was expecting it to be the 80/20 silk/rayon blend that you usually find...

But when I got the bolt, it was marked 100% silk velvet! It is the most ethereal and light velvet I've ever felt. It drapes so beautifully! It's even 'lighter' than the usual silk velvet I've handled at Denver Fabrics, in person.

So before I sew it up and tell someone the fabric content is 100% silk velvet, I wanted to try to make sure. Unfortunately I can't call the manufacturer anymore as it was 'clearanced'. It just seems strange that I might have gotten 100% silk velvet, especially for the price I paid.

Thank you for the suggestion! I will snip a tiny piece and soak it!
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#4 of 12 Old 08-02-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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oooh, it sounds lovely!! what are you going to do with an entire bolt?


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#5 of 12 Old 08-02-2006, 06:06 PM
 
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Ahem, if someone wanted to share for paypal, feel free to pm me...

I am JEALOUS! What are you going to make?
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#6 of 12 Old 08-03-2006, 09:20 AM
 
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NO WAY! I know people who'd mortgage their houses for it. Is there no more available where you bought it? I know you said it was clearanced, but is it all gone?
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#7 of 12 Old 08-03-2006, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Muhahaha...I'm hording it currently (all 30 yards).

Funny story on it:

My sister AND several of her friends came over (originally to help me 'touch test it' to see what they thought about the content of the fabric as two of them sew also) and then they all ended up drooling at the thought of dresses made from it. Two of them wanted gothic or Renaissance 'wedding dresses' made from some of it (but they don't even have boyfriends currently!), and my sister wanted a velvet 'corset' and matching skirt from it AND a pillow for her bed....Some of those dresses can use up to 6+ yards of material so I'll have to think on that!

After some REALLY extensive online searching for 'real' silk velvet and then 'settling' for the best I thought I could get (80/20), I ordered from a foreign designer company that was clearancing out some 'older' unused bolts and some 'designer' (Scalamandre? sp) silk pieces (which I have a few pieces of those as well now for corset making. THICK heavy weight woven silk!). I tried to log on again a few weeks after buying it, but the site was down!! I guess I lucked out even getting what I did get! I'd also done some ebay searching and landed some other vintage and more scalamandre pieces that will make georgeous corsets!

I actually ordered it thinking I could make me a few Lord of the Rings 'Arwen' dresses (the blood red, the cranberry, and the green coronation gown)

http://www.lovelylivtyler.com/galler...icno=20&page=5

http://www.warofthering.net/photofor...at=3024&page=1

http://www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/Elf/Arwen/Green.htm (this site has some instructions and tips for making them)

and then use the left over to make and sell duplicates or velvet corsets and such to help offset the initial cost of my fabrics. But then I got pregnant and haven't wanted to try to 'fit' my body with a bulging belly! So that project is on hold and it's sitting in my sewing 'closet' waiting until next year and some post breastfeeding 'slim down'.

I know that they bought REAL 100% silk velvet for all Arwen's (Live Tylers) dresses (she stated in an interview the material alone cost a small fortune) and that it was super floaty and light...that's what gave me the idea!

Especially now that I've handled the stuff, I'm leaning towards a high (if not the 100%) silk content, as stated on the material and tags. You could layer this stuff and it would still feel etherial and 'cloud' like on your body.

I cut a square and dyed it a lovely shade of purple...AND then it dried beautifully (nap wise)....so I'm thinking if I prewashed it, THEN sewed it, you could actually have a 'washable,' on gentle cycle, and drip dry or lightly air fluff dress made of silk velvet!

I bought some chlorox bleach last night, as I usually don't have that on hand. So I'll do the chlorox test tonight!

If for some reason I can't get around to sewing it or have 'fat quarters' or larger bits left over...I can post here for moms interested as MDC is my FAV site! Would make some lovely evening purses or pillows for your bed or couch!

I also got a 'bolt' of hemp/silk from Darma Fabrics. It's like super fine linen! Thought it would make lovely chemises and under clothing for any dresses. But I have not played with it yet. Would want to wash a large piece first and see what the fabric does...I like doing that as then the finished garmet is usually nicely washable, no matter what the fabric manufacturer suggests!

No, I'm not rich, but I did persuade dH to allow me to use our 'income tax' return from a few years ago to make an initial investment in fabrics for what I'd hoped to start a WAHM business with, making a few custom and 'unique' garments. But THAT is on hold with baby #3 (surprise) on it's way.
BTW you can get some really good deals on EBAY from desigers clearancing out left over pieces of silk from custom work. But you can NOT allow yourself to get caught up in bidding wars!
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#8 of 12 Old 08-03-2006, 11:13 PM
 
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You selfish wench!

Heather, it all sounds just lovely. I love your plans and I hope you enjoy sewing with your silks, nice fabrics are just such a joy to sew.

Congratulations on the new babe, surprises can be such a joy!
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#9 of 12 Old 08-04-2006, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Kari mom My sister said much worse when she heard what I'd actually paid for it.

Ok, I forgot to put the swatch in bleach last night, but I did put about a 1 inch square piece in 1/4 cup chlorox bleach (in a small glass jar with a lid) this morning. I then made breakfast for the kids and when I went to start a load of diapers the swatch had totally dissolved already in the bleach!

WOW that was fast, I figured it'd need 'overnight' or the day to do so, but it took maybe 10-15 minutes! There are NO discernable fibers left. The bleach just has a cloudy look to it now, rather than being clear. Is this 'soaked' long enough or do I need to let it sit to see if the cloudy look will go away too?

I'm hoping this means what I think it means

And, ok, I can hear the groans now...but do any of you think that I could use a piece of silk velvet to line a pocket style diaper for an 'all natural' liner? It's supposed to work like the poly fleece, but ofcourse, it's not a very economical fabric to do so. I know you can use pieces of 100% raw silk for making lay in liners to 'wick' moisture, but was curious if anyone had tried using the thicker 'velvet' stuff.

Thanks again for the bleach suggestion and help!

NOTE to UPDATE: I just got back from running a few errands (so a few more hours later) and the bleach solution is almost 'clear' again (even after swirling it) and you can not discern any fibers for sure!
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#10 of 12 Old 08-04-2006, 06:02 PM
 
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oh yeah, baby, that's silk all right!! It really sounds heavenly though I have absolutely no use for silk vlevet.

I wouldn't be too shocked at what you paid, since it sounds like you got it for around wholesale. I worked in the fashion industry for a long time and wholesale silk is not as horribly high priced as it is in retail.


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#11 of 12 Old 08-06-2006, 12:10 AM
 
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Have you thought about doing some actual historical reproductions? Something like the stuff you'd see on Festive Attyre?
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#12 of 12 Old 08-06-2006, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, actually I LOVE renaissance costuming. I just was 'wow'd' with the fantasy dresses from LOTR. But I do have some historic patterns and a SCA friend showed me how to make a corset/bodice from a 'duct tape' pattern.

I would LOVE to learn to just drape and sew, but need more nerve (and practice)...even if I had a decent muslin I'd managed to drape, I think I'd be nervous to just start cuttinging into the more expensive fabrics!

I have managed to wing a few items, but would be really hesitant to do a really long skirt/bodice from a drape fitting. Just something intimidating with that much fabric to 'manipulate'.....I tend to stick to patterns and make only slight modifications for size if at all possible.

Thank you for that link. New one for me! I have a few other historic links (the 'My First Garb' link someone posted it great too) and am interested in the 'common woman' dresses, as well, as the more elaborate ones tend to be too hot to wear here during our Renaissance Festival. I guess I need to look into joining the SCA or something that holds winter events!

Thanks for that link, I just spent an hour looking at all her costuming!!! WOW

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