Silk paper making (or silk fusion) is similar to
Papier-mâché. The fibres are sandwiched between two
pieces of mesh netting and then stuck together using an
adhesive, such as CMC paste. Other items can be
included with the silk fibres, such as dried petals and
skeleton leaves, or the silk paper making process can be
applied to any absorbent, natural fibre such as cotton
sliver or shredded paper.
Protect surfaces with plastic sheeting and place 1 sheet
of the netting on top of it.
Dissolve adhesive in a jug or bowl of water. The best
method is to add the powder to very hot water, then continue
mixing gently until it has cooled. Start with half the
final amount of hot water, add the powder, then top up with
cold water. If you don't mix long enough you will find a
slab of gelled methocel at the bottom of the container later.
Pull off a small handful of silk fibre. Hold it firmly
with the heel of one hand and pull out lengths of fibre
approx. 3-4cm wide and 6-8cm long.
Leaving a border around your netting, start at the top
right hand corner and lay down chunks of fibre in a row,
overlapping each piece as you go. Continue until you have
created a row approx. 30cm wide.
Begin another row overlapping the fibres from the previous
Continue until the fibres cover an area of approx. 30cm
Cover fibres with the second sheet of netting
Pour some of the prepared glue solution onto the centre
of the netting and work it into the fibres using a circular
Using your fingers push the solution to the edges of the
'paper', adding more when necessary. Intermittently, carefully
lift the back netting to ensure the fibres are wetted all
the way through.
You can remove the top netting from the 'paper' prior
to drying it, (or leave it in place to add texture to the
surface). Remove netting slowly from one corner and carefully
release fibres that have adhered to it. Place paper on a
cake cooling tray to dry flat and allow circulation of air.
Finally, lift the corner of the back netting from the
dried paper and remove slowly.
Silk Papermaking using Sericin
silk fibre which contains the original sericin ‘glue’,
is the basis of a paper. Gummy Reeled Silk, Throwsters Waste,
Cocoons and Carded Cocoon Strippings still retain the naturally
occurring sericin which maintains the structure of the silk
cocoon. The ‘glue’ can be activated by spreading
the fibres on baking parchment, spraying with water, covering
with another sheet of parchment and then ironing on a medium
setting until the fibre is dry. This image shows hand-dyed
Throwsters Waste 'paper'.
Spread a layer of cocoon strippings, carrier rods or throwster’s
waste onto baking parchment. Add coloured fibres of silk,
wool or cotton, sequins, threads, leaves, dried petals,
in fact you can add anything which withstands a little heat.
The paper shown here, has been created using Carded Cocoon Strippings and Carrier Rods, it has been coloured with silk
paints and gold Jacquard
Spread fibres in a light layer over the top to hold the
decoration and spray lightly with water. If you are using
undyed fibres, spray silk paint onto the mass to add colour,
Iron over a second piece of parchment on a ‘medium’
setting until the fibre is dry and not sticking to the paper.
Peel off the parchment when dry.
You can colour the paper with dye or use iron-fix silk