Saturday, May 25, 2013
Upcycling Silk Neckties
Who can resist the luxurious color and pattern of silk neckties? Not me. A while back I started making some scarves out of them and now they have worked their way into my hats. The silk can be very slippery to cut and sew accurately so I had to come up with some tricks to tame it. Light weight iron on interfacing is a big help when you need to maintain a crisp shape. Many projects use the neckties intact but if you take them apart you'll have lots more to work with. Think of them as a fabric source. Because they are cut on the bias, neckties make great bias tape for edging things. The down side is that the grain is usually distorted from the weight of the wider ends. It's sneaky - you can draw a circle on the fabric and it will be a circle. As soon as it's cut out it turns into an oval. The worst offenders are the narrower sections in the center of the tie. The ends are much less apt to distort. Oh, and save the long silk thread that was hand sewn up the back - it usually pulls out in one piece and is great for hand sewing. I normally don't bother with polyester ties, especially the printed designs. They melt when ironed, snag easily leaving a white line through the pattern and are a general bother to sew. But if you find a woven polyester or acetate tie in a great pattern, it can be worth trying. Just be very cautious when ironing. That crazy green zig zag tie was worth the extra trouble and it worked into a cool hat. I also finally bit the bullet and am lining all my new hats so anyone can wear them. It makes for a better product and I just wasn't getting around to trying anything with non wool sweaters. Still, there are so many pretty ramie/cotton sweaters in the thrift shops that I may end up using them, just not for hats. The cut edges would need to be well finished.