Friday, June 8, 2012

Hand Painted Silk Ruanas: New product proof-of-concept

If you'll remember, a while ago I mentioned that I was experimenting with painting silk panels to try to make a ruana out of. I included a shot of one of the panels on the stretcher frame drying. ( Well, I steamed those panels to set the dye a few days ago, and today I washed them, ironed them, and sewed them together into a finished product. And I am absolutely tickled with how they turned out!!!

And of course, I took pictures.

So, I had two big rectangular scarves. I matched up the edges, and pinned one edge half way up the side.

Well, almost half way up the side. You can see here that I folded the scarves in half to find the mid point, and then pinned up to about 2 1/2 inches shy of that mid point. This is because I want the finished silk to hang evenly from front to back on the body. The mid point needs to be on the top of the shoulders. But there is this silly neck thing that gets in the way, and you need to give enough room for that too. If you're making your own, you can try it on and adjust the pins to drape properly on your own body type.

Then I sewed the seam by machine. I needed to be careful right at the start of the seam, because my machine wanted to suck the silk right into it.

Then I gently ironed the seam flat. (Yes, I know the silk changed color. Magic!)

And then I held my breath, and tried them on...and grinned in relief because the idea worked! I love mine!! I'm going to keep the blue one for myself. The orange one is being modeled by my daughter here, and she was very tempted to keep it for herself. But instead it is being traded for some Medieval garb for her, and I'll make her another one once I make another supply order.

And? They fold up into a nice tiny package, so they should be great for travel.

The only drawback I've found so far is that the silk will wrinkle if you scrunch down on the couch and play video games for hours while sitting on your new pretty.

So, I think it is time to make another order to Dharma Trading Company for more silk scarves. This is a creation that I am really proud of, and I can't wait to add them to my line of products. (If I calculated the time and supplies right, they should sell for about $85.) I really like the idea of 'wearable art', and would like to expand more into that area.


  1. Pretty!

    Stopping by from Blogging Buddies!


  2. I've been waiting to see how these would turn out. They're lovely, and I think they would sell for a lot more than $85 in a boutique.

  3. *nod* $85 is the minimum I need. I figure if/when I get the local boutiques to carry them, they'll at least double the price. But I saw similar things running from $200-$300, so there is plenty of wiggle room in there for the retailers to get their cut too.

    When I get to the point that I can't keep up with demand, I'll have to raise my base prices.

  4. Lovely!!!!! Great colors on both of them.