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Let's make a stove to steam cook the painted silk?


When I first started painting on silk, I steam cooked  my silk very primitively, in a presure cooker. 

Once, I had a lot of silk to fix so I borrowed an electric stove from a friend. I remember with sadness that I  managed to put one edge of my wrapped silk in the water and all my work was spoiled. I was reluctant to use the  electric stove after that. I bought a stove top steamer. Until now I used it very succesfully.  But this stove is not for very large silk material. 

When I came to Canada, I needed a stove to steam the silk so I decided to put together one with the help of my husband. In my country,  in Istanbul-Eminonu in some of the stores I have seen large stove pipes which can be used to make this stove.

 You can do it too....

This stove maybe dangerous if you have small children and/or pets in the house (it can be dangerous even for you if you are not careful). 

Please avoid making and using this stove if this is your case. 



This is 1000W


This is 1500W

A simple electric stove


Large stove pipes 8" in diameter. However 10" is better if you can find it. The round stick is for wrapping the painted silk.


The bottom part will be placed in a pot filled with water therefore my husband fixed by screws to the inside periphery a piece of wood and fixed in the center of it a large bottle cap. (next picture) The tip of the long round stick will sit in the bottle cap and thus the bottom of the rolled silk will be above the water.


A note of warning here; If the pipe overlaps are loose use screws to tighten the joints.


This is the bottom part of my homemade stove. The same thing is done at the top but in reverse order.  When the rolled silk is steaming the stick is held in place by the cap housings. 



I roll the painted silk in between the printpaper.  You can buy the end roll of news print from newspaper publishers. I bought mine from 

Newsprint item # 194-36R


After few rolls of paper around the stick, roll the painted silk in between successive layers of papers making sure that no part of the silk touch each other. Cover the end of your roll with aluminium foil and tape it down well so that the paper does not get unrolled and touch the sides of the stovepipe.





After you arrange the silk roll between the caps, place the whole assembly in a big pot half filled with water. (bottom picture) On top of the stovepipe place folded  paper towel to absorb the water which may condense on the top surface and drop on the roll of silk.  You can put a lid on top. (picture on the right)


To prevent the steam escaping between the pot and the pipe cover with aluminium foil.


I let the silk steam cook 2 to 3 hours after the water starts boiling. If the colours of your paintings are dark colours I usually cook the silk a little longer. 


After the steaming is finished wash the silk in water mixed with a little salt.  Place the silk while still damp between print paper, iron.


Painted silk washed in water mixed with a little white vinegar will shine beautifully.



Note; If your silk crease when cooking it is very difficult to iron out the crease. Put a little white vinegar with your fingertips on the crease and iron.



Today, I offered you just a drop of water from the huge sea of knowledge ......




You can see both electric and stove top type of it  in website in tools.