Here is what sinamay looks like naturally. While I'd get much stronger color strikes if I used bleached sinamay (white sinamay), I have rolls of the natural colored and save my white for specific projects.
I've skipped over all the messy business with powdered dyes, water, buckets, gloves, face masks, etc., to show you a fairly easy way of 'batching' the sinamay. By batching I mean letting the dye sit in/on the sinamay until it exhausts itself and the sinamay can no longer accept anymore dye. This takes about 12 hours, but I sped it up a bit by placing the dyed sinamay in plastic bags, placed it outside in our HOT North Carolina sun, and let it process. I continued to turn the bags over every hour or so.
Above you see the bags opened at the end of the day. I'm ready to remove them from the bags and wash out the residual dye.
All balled up and getting their first shower! Because these dyes are non-toxic I don't mind washing them out on the grass in the garden.
And here they are all washed out and ready to dry. Note the smaller turquoise piece in the center of the group. This is silk straw, which I loooooove! The warp of the weave is silk and the weft is straw. The sheen on this straw is unbelievably gorgeous. Gorgeous!
Here I've taken the small piece of silk straw to the studio to play with. Can you see the sheen? This particular piece is about 18" wide and about 30" long. So not a big piece of straw yardage to work with, but wait until you see the resulting headpieces I fashioned out of this.
The following pictures are the 3 styles I came up with while manipulating the straw. The straw weft is really the only way to bend the straw for design possibilities, the silk warp being too limp to make much of a design statement. If you are familiar with Jin Sin, it works by the same concept. Sinamay bends equally on warp and weft.