Ok. So my steaming capability increased tenfold but then...
It was truly appalling to take my masterpiece out of the steamer, only to realize that my steam water had turned orange in color! The silk apparently was not affected by it, but it just seemed to be oh so wrong. The steamer grate was covered in it also. It looked awful, like rust in the pot when the wet residue dried, but it came right off by scrubbing with a sponge. It was perplexing. It hit me then that others, such as author and shibori artist Karren Brito, had written about the paramount importance of the integrity of the water used in all the processes. Some contend that if you have hard water, you should soften it with a good softener. But, what if you aren't sure what elements are in your water or not, or when the softening is suppose to happen, and you are not inclined to do a lot of expensive testing? To top it off, no one else can give you an answer because we all have different situations to deal with!
I decided on a water filter that would filter out the minerals in my water, and my dear husband went out and found one for me!! It was an inexpensive solution to what I saw as a definite problem. And now I am more determined to get down to the nitty gritty ph testing when its needed. Now where are those stripes I bought??
In conclusion, I have come to realize that controlling as many of the elements in the process as you can isvery important, and the element of water is the most important element to control in the shibori process. Think about it. Water is used in almost every aspect of the process. Like yourself, I want to create a masterpiece everytime!!! As I experiment further, we will see what illuminates next.