Fiber-Etch Fabric Remover, manufactured by Silkpaint Corporation (www.silkpaint.com) is a gel used to create devore (a centuries’ old French technique which means devour) or “burnout” effects in fabric blends, and is used by top designers to create fabulous looks.
Here’s how it works. Fiber-Etch removes only plant fibers: cotton, linen, rayon, ramie, and hemp – any fiber that comes from a plant. [Rayon is a synthesized wood product, which enables it to be grouped in the plant category, as is Tencel and the newest cellulose derived fabric fibers.] Protein fibers (coming from animals: silk, wool) are not affected by Fiber-Etch, and neither are synthetics. These fibers are left behind in fabric blends when Fiber-Etch removes the plant fibers, creating beautifully transparent areas. Fiber-Etch may be applied from the bottle, stamped with foam decorator stamps, painted on with a brush, or silkscreened on the fabric. When dry, fabric is ironed to activate, then rinsed to remove the plant fibers.
Fabric-wise, use a fabric without a surface finish or sizing (if buying a commercial fabric, experiment with a piece first to see if there is a finish applied – Fiber-Etch cannot get thru finishes to do the business of etching). Good combinations for experimentation are rayon/wool blends, rayon/poly blends, and silk back/rayon pile velvet (available thru the sources listed at the bottom of this page). There are Specialty Fabrics (see www.silkpaint.com) that are woven specifically for use with Fiber-Etch. Commercial poly/cotton blends are most often made with the polyester content dyed the same color as the fabric, so a contrast is not so apparent after etching (as opposed to the Azeta poly/cotton Specialty Fabric available thru Silkpaint Corp., which contains transparent polyester). For sewing enthusiasts, a new video focuses on using Fiber-Etch in many sewing related areas, including machine embroidery, cutwork, reverse applique, as well as etching velvet (also available thru Silkpaint Corp). Also refer to our website for very specific instructions regarding the use of Fiber-Etch on velvet, as well as other surfaces and techniques. Watch for the November issue of Sew News magazine, which will contain an in-depth article on using Fiber-Etch with velvet to create sheer areas.
Fiber-Etch® & Silk Velvet
What type of Velvet do you use?
The velvet must be silk back with rayon pile (Fiber-Etch® removes the rayon pile and leaves the silk back intact)
To which side of the Velvet do you apply Fiber-Etch®?
If applying with a brush or from the bottle apply to the pile side**