Friday, February 11, 2011

Making Playsilks

My children love to play with playsilks and they are easy and fun to make.  First of all, here are the directions I use.  I wrote them about 8 years ago and have used them enough times to know that they work well.  I am happy to share!

You can also use your Pyrex dishes or a steel pot on the stovetop if you don't have a microwave.  Any type of food coloring will do.  I prefer food coloring to Koolaid for two reasons.  One, I use the food coloring for other craft projects.  
Two, it is less expensive in the long run.  

If you want to avoid the mottled colors, you will need to buy professional dye from Dharmatrading or Thaisilks and get yourself a huge pot.  

Here are some pictures!

 Mix together water and white vinegar with as much food coloring as you like.  The already damp scarf immediately soaks up the coloring!  I use Pyrex dishes so I can microwave them to cook the color and set it.
 I like to have an assembly line going.  You need to cook each scarf for three minutes in the micro and then let it sit for three minutes in the dish before cooking it again. 
Repeat.  Then, the scarves are very hot to the touch so I put them in a bowl to set aside and cool before hanging to dry.
 If you don't have a microwave, you can cook your scarf on the stove in a large pot. 

After they cool, I like to hang them on a line to dry as much as possible.
 My wee one wanted to hang out with me while I was cooking.  She is playing playdough.  Because this involves very hot fabric, I did not let her help me too much. I did let her choose the colors and help prep the pots.  It is a rainy day today so I ended up drying the scarves on very low in my dryer for 20 minutes.  If you do not have a very low setting, do not machine dry them.  It will compromise the delicate silk and cause tears. 
The finished products!  
A beautiful rainbow of scarves for her preschool to use for pretend play.


  1. What a great idea, so quick, easy and cheap to do and I bet the preschool are delighted! Happy weekend x

  2. I've never seen this done before, but it's a great idea.