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The Process of Devore Printing

Today we want to show you how the Devoré process is done here at Beckford Silk. Devoré, comes from the French “to devour” or eat away. The Devoré process involves  burning out areas of the viscose pile to produce a lace like effect. Today we are showing you the Devoré printing of a scarf on silk/viscose satin. The devoré fabric is woven with a silk net and viscose pile 

In this blog, the scarf we are printing is exclusively designed for Westminster Abbey, this devoré scarf has been inspired by the elaborate vaulted ceiling in Henry VII’s Lady Chapel.

The process is started by laying silk satin fabric on the table and pulled taught using tape on either side of the selvedge, so it creates a smooth surface ready to be printed on. 

The screen which has the design on, is made up of a metal frame and a fine nylon mesh, tightly stretched over it. The open areas of mesh on the design is where the clear Devoré paste will pass through on to the silk/ viscose satin below.

Washing the screen after printing

The design is then printed, not with colour but with a special clear paste. The paste is pushed evenly through the mesh screen on to the silk below using a squeegee which is attached to the printing carriage. Do watch the video to see this process being done.

Devore Printing Video

The print is very difficult to make out at this stage, but the clear paste, will help to burn out the viscose pile and leave the silk net underneath. Creating a textured design that is raised on the surface of the cloth.

Removing the dried, printed devore silk
Putting the printed silk satin on the frame ready for baking
Ready for baking in the oven
Going into the oven

When the fabric is baked in an oven, the paste attacks the viscose but leaves the silk net alone. Which then shows the design as a lace like effect.

Out of the oven and ready for washing and dyeing.

The loose viscose is then washed away, revealing the design. After being washed, the satin will then be dyed to the correct recipe for the Westminster Abbey scarf. Here you can see the silk satin being dyed to the Gold colour way.

It doesn’t look like the final colour at this stage. But once the silk fabric has gone through the drying process. You can see the transformation.

The drying process consists of putting the silk in the spinner to get as much water out as possible. Then the fabric is clipped on to the stenter finishing machine, and fed through a large infra-red oven. See the video for more details.

The printed devoré silk is then batched off at the end of the stenter. Ready to be sent out to our sewing ladies to make up into the scarves which you can purchase at the Westminster Abbey shop.

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