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Products mentioned in this IDEEN.com Journal article:

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  • J00082 Microwave
  • J00082 Microwave
  • J00082 Microwave
  • J00082 Microwave
  • J00082 Microwave
  • J00082 Microwave
  • J00082 Microwave
For the painting and dyeing of silk fabrics you can choose between steam fixable silk colours and silk colours which can be fixed by ironing.
The ones fixed by ironing ensheath the fibres with colour pigments and adhere physically.
Steam fixable ones on the other hand bond chemically with the silk fabric with the help of heat and moisture: These colours shine very intensely and let the silk keep its original feel and drape.
Typically silks painted with steam fixable silk colours are only fixed after drying. Further information about this can be found in this IDEEN.com-Journal article.
Since moisture and heat are the two decisive criteria, the silk, as well as the chemically similar wool, can also be dyed and simultaneously fixed in a pot or a microwave.

This is how it's done:
Exclusively wet felt is dyed in the microwave. If the moisture is missing burns may occur and the fibres will not expand sufficiently to soak up the acidy dyes. Since pieces of the silk will inevitably touch each other this type of fixing is only suited for water colour or tie-dye effects.
The time required for fixing is dependent on the type of silk, the amount of colour, and the equipment of the microwave. Therefore you should do some trials beforehand!
You can use 2-4 minutes at 500-600 Watts as a reference point.
To avoid burning the silk by drying it too quickly you should take care to cover the fabric. You can fix using a microwavable dish with a lid, and additionally a wrapping of foil or a sturdy sealable bag.

IMPORTANT: Hot equipment should not be left unattended! Take heed of children and pets! Ventilate to avoid exposure to emitted steam (moisture) and potentially developing fumes! Dishes used for dying are not to be used again for preparation or serving of food!

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