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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Best Way to Store Silks When Not in Use? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

J-Mac
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How do you store your silks at home? Folding them seems to put those permanent creases in them and ultimately causes tearing at the folds. I've tried rolling them up but I'm not certain that's good for them either. Maybe roll them around a cardboard tube? Like the ones left after the aluminum foil runs out? Or fold them very loosely and don’t pile anything else on top? (Which could be tough to do in a close-up case). Roll 'em in a ball?

Thanks for any advice!

Jim
Jeffrey Korst
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Packing the act, I folded 18-24" silks in half and 36" in fourths length wise and rolled them around a heavy mailing tube. Wrinkles come out, and they need no pressing before the next use.
Why, yes. I do need new pictures. Why do you ask?

Jeffrey Korst
San Francisco Bay Area Magician
J-Mac
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Thank you Jeffrey. That sounds good to me. Smile

Jim
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Jim,

This is a great question and has also been treated in other places here on The Magic Café.

Creases in silk for the first 200 years should not present a problem. They will iron out flat again. Don't sweat weakening. (Worry about the creases in your suit pants first! Do the legs split on the crease? Of course, NOT!)

However, silk and American produced paper is a bad combination. The acid in the paper should be avoided. I know that Harold Rice (Silk King Studios), Peter White (P&A Silk) and I (DoveLite Silk) all package silk in paper for sale. That is merchandizing and not permanent storage. (At DoveLite, we hope that is only for about 90 days anyway.)

Get your silks out of and away from the paper! That includes cardboard tubes. I recommend Zip-Lock plastic bags. Leave some air (not a lot) in and you'll notice that new hard creases don't appear either.

For rolling, go to the golf pro shop and get the plastic tubes (usually less than a dollar) that go into golf bags to separate golf clubs and keep the grips clean. Since they are not paper, it solves that problem. (You'll also learn that they are great for making your own props in silk magic! Serving suggestions: Soft Soap and magazine dye tubes.)

Generally, protect silk like you would wool. Bugs and rats will eat it. At DoveLite all silk is imported via air freight to avoid the rats and bugs on ships.

Silk can also be stained by rust, lime water, etc. Plastic bags are good cover there. (Blood, eggs and other protein will wash out with COLD water.)

One of the real secrets to silk magic is using Static Guard to stop electric static cling. At this point in time I only have fifty years experience with it. However, I have seen no harm yet. Dryer sheets are a separate problem. I don't recommend them. Among other things, since they can also be used as fuses, we know that they burn easily. That means putting a fire hazard packaged with silk! (Think flash paper) I know some people do it. I won't.

Enjoy your silk magic!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

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J-Mac
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Bob,

Thank you for the very detailed and amazingly helpful reply! Wow - this is certainly more advice than I expected. I had no idea that cardboard tubes could harm silk. I will definitely keep away from them!

As for splitting at the creases, I actually had this occur but it was with an extremely cheap silk - one I purchased way back, maybe 30-35 years ago with a thumb tip; it was very thin and translucent. I used to keep it folded nicely and on one occasion after it had been stored away in a drawer for a while I took it out and noticed that looked like it had virtually disintegrated at the crease. But that was junk, as I mentioned. However not having had any really nice silks until recently when I purchased some from... uhh.... oh - you, Bob! - I didn't know if the same could happen with quality silk. And now I know!

I had read about Static Guard here at the Café before.

Thank you again Bob for the advice!

Jim
Bob Sanders
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Jim,

Thank you.

As for a tube for rolling silks, another good core is the plastic tube sold for containing and protecting florescent light tubes. They are found at building supply stores and larger hardware stores. They are also more rigid and the right length.

Bob Sanders
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Jeffrey Korst
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I never thought about the acid in the paper. It makes a lot of sense that it could damage the silks. I will switch to plastic.

What sort of damage would one notice? I've not done the act for many years and have some silks that have been rolled around a tube since 1990. What should I look for?

I'll unroll them and report back.
Why, yes. I do need new pictures. Why do you ask?

Jeffrey Korst
San Francisco Bay Area Magician
Darkwing
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Nashville Tn
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Jeff,

Without going into a great deal of detail, the cardboard tubing is made out of a raw paper called brown kraft paper. It is unfinished paper that has a lot of chemicals such as sodium sulfites and sodium hydroxide used in the process. As this paper gets older, it will start to deteriorate and will outgas acids in the process. All these chemicals will damage and deteriorate your silks.

That is the reason why it is not a good idea to store your silks in any envelope or anything made out of paper.

On my real job, I sell valves and instrumentation to the paper industry and you should see what the chemicals do to the valves and instruments I sell. There are some byproducts in the paper making process with names such as black liquor, green liquor, and white liquor which are so dangerous that humans cannot come in contact with them. Not the type of liquor you would want to drink.

Hope that helps.

David Williams
Regan
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Bob, the tubes from the golf pro shop is a great tip! Thanks!

regan
Mister Mystery
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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I have a friend who is still using silk flags with only 48 stars on them. They are nearly 60 years old and look great. But he takes great care of his silks.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

PS --- Don't forget that insects will eat them!
Bob Sanders

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J.G. the magnificent
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Griffith Indiana
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Quote:
On 2010-05-04 10:31, Bob Sanders wrote:
I have a friend who is still using silk flags with only 48 stars on them. They are nearly 60 years old and look great. But he takes great care of his silks.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

PS --- Don't forget that insects will eat them!

I figure people don't notice the wrinkles or don't even care. They don't even effect their uses really at least for me except occasionally it is necessary to have them flutter out wide that and or if they are obviously very wrinkled a quick rinse and air drying will unwrinkle them. So I just throw them in a box with other magic things. With what you said about insects eating them though maybe that is why they seem to have tiny holes. I should start storing them accordingly.

Posted: May 7, 2010 12:00am
I notice mine are getting stray threads coming out along the edges. Any suggestions on that?
Jeremy Gates
LMLipman
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What about ironing? I find that after every show many of my silks are significantly crumpled and I have to iron them before the next use. (I have duplicates for days with multiple shows) I recently bought a steamer, would that be better than an iron set on the silk setting?
Larry Lipman
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Bob Sanders
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Larry,

Here is a thread that may help with that.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=54

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

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Arun
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Bob,

Thanks so much for this very useful information! One question on the insect front: do you know if any of the traditional insect repellants, say camphor/mothballs or cedar would be bad for the silks?

Warm regards,
Arun
Dick Oslund
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Honorable Mr. Sanders, KNOWS!

In the off season, when I wasn't working every day, I would just "pile" the small (18") silks on top of one another, and roll them loosely. They stayed in the prop case, but were not "crushed" flat!

The 24s and 36s were stacked flat and I used several plastic bags, crumpled into a large "ball" which I placed on top of the "pile" of silks. I flipped the pile over and they resembled a "silken" comet I stored them in a box large enough that they weren't crushed. They never got seriously wrinkled.

On the road, I never left silks stuffed in gimmicks (e.g.: dye tubes). When working down south in extreme humidity, about once a week, I would soak the silks in water and spread them on a mirror (or window). When they dried, they fell off, and went back into the prop case. (Old roadie trick)

I have Rice "Picture" silks that are YEARS old. --and, they still look fine.
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magicsecure
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What about the scarf hangers you can buy almost anywhere cheap and I think wrinkles look do much better in a silk looks like real magic
Bob Sanders
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I am not aware that hanging a silk hurts it. The draperies in our house are 36" x 30' silks! (It is a benefit of being the silk importer.) However, avoiding friction may be smart. Frankly plastic bags are hard to beat for silk storage.

The benefits of hanging silk to reduce wrinkles are doubtful. Silk is simply too light to pull out wrinkles. Left in the open you also may be exposing valuable silk to damaging insects.

Also I would avoid metal, plastic or wood surfaces that may snag the silk.

PS --- Something relatively new! Hand sanitizers kill germs but leave your hands even dirtier! That solvent will affect the dye in some silks! Wash your hands in soap and water after using hand sanitizers BEFORE handing your good silks.
Bob Sanders

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Regan
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I use a variety of methods for storing silks...mainly depending on the anticipated duration of the storage. The silks I use now regular basis are sometimes left 'lightly' folded in order to fit in a prop case. I try to roll the silks that might be in storage for long periods. I iron them before shows if needed.

Silk fountains are difficult to store, but I have found that if they are just left 'loose' they do well. I have several silk fountains and each has it's own plastic storage box. I find that they do not wrinkle too badly if placed in storage correctly. The main thing is to store them loosely, which is true with any silk. If you leave them scrunched up tightly silks are going to wrinkle badly. A badly wrinkled silk that has been in tight storage does not look good to me. I prefer to iron the wrinkles out.

I took the silk storage and care advice of Mr. Bob Sanders early on! You won't go wrong you listen to him!
Mister Mystery
Walking Bob
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I store some of my silks by hanging them 4 or 5 at a time on a pants hanger.

Walking Bob
Bob Sanders
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I recommend rolling silks on a roller over hanging them.
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

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