Friday, July 9, 2010

Silk Paper Instructions

Thanks to Rhonda for putting me in her treasury.

Inspired by this amazing photographer.....

Zé Eduardo

New colourway Vespa- inspired by above photo but really done because Nadine asked for a lime and burnt orange. Thing is, she asked for them to be separate, but how could I possibly do just one colour......Strange concept.

New Colour Poppy. The Blond and her friend thought I needed a more sophisticated colourway for my bracelet kits and they were right. Especially for Jeff's Shed coming up. Which will be in winter in Melbourne. Uniform for winter in Melbourne? Grey, black and possibly a little splash of red if you are feeling flashy.

Revamped the instructions for silk paper making- here they are.

Make up your adhesive spray by pouring 50ml of Jo Sonja Textile Medium (adhesive) and 100mls of water into a clean bowl. You can dilute the mixture further if you require a softer paper. Mix the solution and set it aside. Fill a second bowl with warm water and a teaspoon of washing up liquid. This will help the water penetrate the fibres.

Lay one sheet of nylon netting flat in the bottom onto plastic sheeting over a table. Then, holding the silk in one hand, , gently tease away a tuft of fibres using your other hand. You will need to be holding the silk about 20cms from the end in order to allow the fibres to pull free from the silk. The larger the amount you ‘grab’ from the end of the silk, the thicker the tuft will be. (This will effect the final thickness of the paper so if you want thin paper, only tease away fine tufts from the silk.)

Lay the fibres on top of the net running lengthwise from top to bottom, leaving a 3cm margin all around the edges.( like tiling a roof) Keep pulling out tufts from the end of the silk and laying them down until the net is completely covered and the fibres overlap enough that there are no visible holes (Unless you want holes!). Lay another layer of fibre down randomly over the first. Two layers are sufficient for paper making. More layers will make the paper thicker.

At this stage you may wish to add some decorative elements to the paper. An example of things that could be added are snippets of threads- machine and embroidery, fabrics, glitter, dried petals and gilding flakes. Apply these now by sprinkling them over the top of the silk fibres.

Lay the second sheet of net over the silk to make a ‘sandwich’ and pour the warm washing up mixture over your ‘sandwich’ . At this stage it is important to wet all of the fibres so they will ‘take up’ the adhesive when it is applied. To help this process, roll the ‘sandwich’ with a rolling pin until it appears the fibres are all wet. Carefully turn the ‘sandwich’ over and roll the other side. At this stage you may detect holes in the paper, simply remove one side of the netting and press more fibres over the thin area, replace the net and roll down.

With a clean sponge, dab over the surface picking up excess water so the ‘sandwich’ is now damp but not soggy. Pour your adhesive solution on to your paper and roll the adhesive solution all over the ‘sandwich’, working the solution into the layers. Turn it over and repeat. You must wash your roller clean immediately to prevent adhesive from sticking to it. When you are sure the fibres have been penetrated by the adhesive, lift the ‘sandwich’ and hold it up to let the adhesive drain off. This can be poured back into the adhesive container for use again later.

Keeping the net in place, hang the paper on the line or clothes horse to further drain and dry.

When completely dry, carefully peel off the two layers of net and iron the paper. Use a silk setting on your iron.

You have made silk paper!

The adhesive can be stored in a bottle for weeks if sealed . Atelier acrylic gloss medium and varnish is non toxic and can be washed off your hands and work surface with soap and water. Other mediums suitable for paper making include Jo Sonja Textile Medium and Liquitex. Please keep adhesive out of reach of children.


  1. Looking forward to Jeff's Shed. Because I so *need* more supplies!!

  2. where are mine - I need both please

  3. Thanks for this Jacinta. I must try some silk paper making too. You are so generous with your time and instructions. I love the 'new' colours, so vibrant.