COLOURING EASTER EGGS WITH SILK

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PROCEDURE:

1.First wipe the raw egg with a moist cloth to remove any dirt.

2.Wrap the egg in a piece of real silk approx. 18cm x 18cm in size.

3.The »nicer« side of the silk material should be facing the egg, and the less intensive side towards the outside.

4.The silk should tightly cover the egg as much as possible, as where it doesn’t touch the egg will remain uncoloured. It helps by wrapping the egg in silk and dipping it into cold water, smoothing out the creases with your fingers so that the silk adheres closely.

5.Fix the silk with a rubber band.

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6.Now, wrap the egg again in a white cotton cloth, securing it again with a rubber band. The cloth should not be too tight, as the egg might break.

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7.Place the wrapped-up eggs into a pan with cold water, add 2 spoons of vinegar and bring to the boil.

8.When the water begins to boil, reduce the temperature and boil further on a medium heat for 25 minutes.

9.Take the eggs out of the pan and wait for them to cool for about 30 minutes.

10.Unwrap the cloth and apply a little vegetable oil to make the eggs shine.

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TIPS:

SILK

Only real silk (100% raw silk) works. The silk material should be densely woven and as thick as possible. Thin/transparent scarves will not release any colour. Material from old silk ties is also suitable. The best pieces of silk can be found in the shop Gramatex, in Begunje (Gorenjska). Dark, strong colours are better and remain unchanged when transferred to the egg (black, dark blue, dark purple, etc.) Pastel and grey colours on silk have practically no visual effect.

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Prefer choosing smaller motives and patterns on silk, as these show up much better than larger ones. At the more rounded parts of the egg, the silk tends to crease, so avoid patterns on those parts.

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COTTON 

Use only white cotton. You can use material from old vests, sheets, kitchen towels as well. The function of the cotton is to contain the colour of the silk so that it doesn’t run into the water and colour the other eggs. After use, wash the cotton cloths and reuse them.

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EGGS

You can use a variety of different eggs such as chicken, goose, etc.

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You can also choose between egg colours, as printing from silk onto a white or brown egg will be different. The colour was much more difficult to adhere to the brown egg, which I stained with vinegar (see photo below, 3rd egg). The photographs show how the same silk colours different eggs.

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The most intensive colours appear on white (battery) eggs, as often the shell is more porous and absorbs the colour. On quality farmhouse eggs (even white) the colour will not stain so intensely. The photograph below shows how the same silk colours white eggs from the supermarket (left) and domestic farm eggs (right).

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BUT, THE GREAT NEWS IS ….

This year, for the first time I did a test and I didn’t throw away the used silk cloths as I wanted to see whether I could use them again. To my surprise the eggs came out nicely coloured at the second attempt. This means, that the same piece of silk can be used twice (I’m not sure about the third, or fourth time!), only that the intensity of the colour is slightly less. The process is as follows: just dry the silk fabric, iron it and it can be reused on another egg.

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The top row shows eggs coloured with silk for the first time. The lower row shows eggs coloured using the same, reused silk cloth.

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ENJOYING EGGS COLOURED WITH SILK

Silk-coloured eggs should be used more as a feast for the eyes, while normal eggs can be prepared for consumption according to usual methods.

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