Silk tie?

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dragonmaker

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My husband’s favorite tie is finally getting threadbare and ugly. It’s time to retire it. He read the label and said “It’s 100% silk, and you use silk in soap. Can you use this old tie dissolved in soap?” First, I love him, cuz he’s as crazy about my hobbies as I am! Second, is there anything wrong with me dissolving a little piece of silk cloth into my soap? The only thing I can think of is maybe the dyes doing something weird. Is there any chance they could become skin irritants in the presence of lye? They were originally safe to touch, because it’s clothing… Thoughts?
 
I'd be worried about the dye too - but more to the point, how on earth would you dissolve it? The silk used in soap is generally a powder and not spun and made into a fibre (which is exceptionally strong by the way - they make parachutes out of it).
 
Yes, silk cloth will dissolve in lye. I use raw silkworm pods and have used unspun silk fibers before.
Cut the cloth up into tiny bits, you want about a small cotton balls worth for a pound or two of soap.
If all the bits don't dissolve, strain the lye solution through stainless steel mesh

I have no idea how the dye will react but I tend to think like you, they are made to be close to skin so should be ok.
 
I just tried pieces of a black 100% silk shirt in a test batch. I first dissolved a piece of silk in lye water. There seem to be stages as the lye breaks down the silk threads into thread segments and proteins. The soap feels dreamy after only 5 days.
 

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I just tried pieces of a black 100% silk shirt in a test batch. I first dissolved a piece of silk in lye water. There seem to be stages as the lye breaks down the silk threads into thread segments and proteins. The soap feels dreamy after only 5 days.
Fascinating! Is the black colour of the soap only from the black colour of the silk you used?
 
Thanks for the input! In the past I’ve used unspun loose fiber in the lye solution and they’ve always dissolved. I might have to try it for some soap just for us, not for giving away, at least at first.
ooh, ooh - i have the perfect name for the resulting soap! How about 'Silk Tie'? :D
 
Wow! @dragonmaker thank your husband for that query! I have boxes of kimono pieces stashed away (don't ask!) in various colors that I can use. I have no time to soap right now, but I can deconstruct or fray the pieces of silk for future small batches of soap. I'll try to remember to take pics of my colored silk and the resulting colors of soap. It will be a great experiment for those long winter days coming up. Gardening, harvesting, jelly and a couple of wedding gifts need to come first
 
Please post pictures here when you finally get a chance to try out the silk! I will be adding silk tie to my very next batch of soap, as soon as I'm able to make soap again!
I added "take pics" to my note on silk in soap. I'm sure it will be winter here before I get a chance to soap again...not that I need any! Say November sometime.
 
It will be a great experiment for those long winter days coming up.
I agree. After @desiredcreations posted pics, I got "itchy". I went to my scarf drawer, reached to the bottom of the pile and pulled out a beloved but almost thread bare silk neck scarf I've had "forever". I want to try it again!
I guess that makes desiredcreations an Official Enabler. :nodding:
 
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