This project was inspired by a magazine article...unfortuna tely, I can no longer find the magazine. But it was probably Fiber Arts. Sorry to not give full credit!
Basically, this project takes advantage of the poor colorfastness of printed silk.
You need printed silk ties or scarves, unprinted silk yardage, undyed cotton yardage, string, water, stock pot and vinegar.
Step one is to cut up the ties. Feels a little wasteful...but remember they can be reused for several printings. And if they're thriftstore ties, this is probably their last chance anyway!
Then you create layers. First, lay down some undyed cotton fabric (like muslin). You're going to layer muslin, then the ties, then the silk. You can also put another layer of muslin on the top, if you have alot of red in your tie colors (red bleeds so much, the extra muslin will soak some of it up and keep it from staining your entire project).
Next, you roll it up. As tightly as possible to keep the ties in place. Tie it with undyed string.
Then fill your pot with cold water, add vinegar (I used 2 tbsp in this pot). And dunk your fabric roll(s) in the water. [You want to weigh down the rolls...so put a heat proof pan, plate, smaller pot cover, etc on top of your rolls to keep them immersed. Otherwise they float and you'll get uneven printing]. Place on the stove top, heating water to a boil. Once boiling, keep on high heat for 20 minutes.
After boiling, drain the pot and rinse the rolls with cold water until the run off water is clear.
Then unroll and see the surprise!
Lastly, hang dry. After dry, press with a hot iron to help set the color (it will never be super colorfast...just like the ties weren't).
Here is the finished silk fabric. As you can see, the transferred print colors are much softer than the original tie colors. But I LOVE the soft, aged, antiqued colors. I'm planning to make a bunch of these and then cut them into quilt squares and make a silk patchwork coverlet for my bed. Watch the Quilting section for that...many months down the road!