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Frequently Asked Questions
What does the "mm" mean?
The abbreviation "mm" stands for momme (rhymes with tummy) and is a Japanese measure of fabric weight. 1mm = 3.62 grams per square yard, so an 8mm fabric weighs 29 grams (1 oz) per square yard. The smaller the "mm" the lighter the fabric.
What does the term sandwashed mean? Will it affect my dyeing?
Sandwash is a process that buffs the fibers on the silk causing them to have a soft or worn texture. Unless the fabric has been coated with a chemical (which is unlikely) you should have no problem dyeing the silk.
What colors do the fabrics come in?
All of our fabrics come in a white or natural color, and a few are offered in black.
When dyeing a fabric that is a blend, such as the rayon/silk velvet, which dye do you use?
For the rayon/silk velvet that you mentioned the fiber content is 82% rayon and 18% silk, I would definitely recommend the Procion MX dye. Since the fabric is mostly rayon, the Procion would be the best for it. The Procion will also dye the silk although it may be a slightly different shade than the rayon.
Are your fabrics pre-washed or do I need to do this?
Our fabrics are generally sold ready to dye, however, we always recommend doing a test first, as conditions do vary. You might want to evaluate the benefit of pre-washing before production runs. If you are making a garment and are worried about shrinkage, pre-washing may be a good idea.
How many yards are on a bolt?
Typically, bolts run around 50 yards. They are often a yard or two more or less. A few of the silks are around 40 yards, and the velvets are 25 to 30 yards.
What are "prepared for dyeing" (PFD) fabrics? Do I still need to add soda ash?
Prepared for dyeing just means that the fabric has been washed and possibly treated to make it more receptive to the dye. Loom state and untreated fabric can have sizings and impurities in it, which can give you uneven results. You will still need to add soda ash if you are dyeing a cellulose fiber and are using Procion MX dye.
How can I shrink my jeans?
Most fabrics come preshrunk these days. You might try boiling them and then putting them in the dryer on the hottest setting.
How can I mount and frame my silk pieces?
You can stretch them around acid free foamcore and tape it on the backside. I wouldn't use any type of glue because depending upon how thin the silk, the glue might come through and discolor it. There are also specially coated boards for framing needlework that are slightly tacky that you can ask your framer about. You can then either mat it or put a spacer between the piece and the glass in the frame. If the glass is directly on a piece of artwork, moisture can build up and eventually mold the piece.