Monday, November 1, 2021

Recycled Cashmere

A good friend taught me a new textile trick last July.  I know it's been around for quite a while but it was new to me.
She showed us how to imprint a silk scarf with recycled men's silk ties.
The lightbulb went off and I thought, why couldn't you do the same with vintage silk scarves and recycled cashmere sweaters.  And that started a two-week frenzy out in the garage!

I've been saving vintage scarves for over ten years.  I used them on cashmere jackets that I sold for many years but after I stopped making those I couldn't bring myself to give away the two huge containers of scarf bits and whole scarves. Unfortunately, my scarf stash doesn't look like I even dented it!

There are several good tutorials online explaining how to do this technique if you're interested.  Basically, you tightly wrap the silk ties or scarf pieces around a dowel with the cashmere (or silk scarf), bind it together very tightly and steam it.

 I pieced the scarves on large cashmere sweater fronts, backs and sleeves so there really aren't that many seems in this garment, even tho it looks quite patched.

At first I was going to make a large patchwork shawl with the pieces I dyed.  But then I thought I might use a sweater more so tried this oversized, slouchy sweater pattern I drafted from a RTW garment.

The sleeves are very tight fitting so it gives the garment a bit of shape.

Here's a close up.  Most of the colors really printed well.  Every once in a while one scarf didn't print so well.  And then every once in a while my burn test to determine if it was really silk failed!  Then I got NO print at all.

I also used some old kimono prints.  I was surprised that so few of my vintage kimono scraps were silk. Most must be rayon, I guess.  

I've been sewing and doing loads of surface design these last few months but just haven't gotten to blogging about it cuz I've also been lucky enough to begin taking classes and going to retreats again.  It sure feels wonderful to be with my sewing pals again!
I hope your sewing is bringing you joy.