Lesson 28

The subject before us today is Silks.

The silk handkerchief has won its way to a prominent place in Magic. There are several reasons for this— the silk handkerchief makes showy effects; it is easy to handle; and it can be compressed into a small space and then opened to cover a comparatively large space.

The popular size for silks with Magicians is a thirteen-inch square. This is due, perhaps, to the fact that this size cuts nicely from Japanese or Chinese silk, which comes twenty-seven inches wide. Some Magicians prefer, however, to work with larger silks—eighteen inches square, or even twenty-seven inches square for flash effects.

It is easy to make silk handkerchiefs. Buy Japanese or Chinese silk, cut your squares, and hem them around the edges to keep from raveling. Then wash and iron your silks to make them softer and easier to handle. The silks furnished with your course should be so laundered before you use them. Use lukewarm water and a little Lux.

Silks come in so many attractive colors that a Magician can add a colorful flash to his act with them. A European Magician made a hit with a silk effect in which the handkerchiefs had one- to three-inch borders of contrasting color. The light-colored silks had dark borders, and the dark-colored had white or light borders. As a result of this, interesting new effects came into prominence.

Important in silk handkerchief effects is the ability to roll a handkerchief readily into a small ball. The Magician starts with one corner and uses it as a foundation around which to wrap the rest of the handkerchief. To facilitate this, some performers sew a piece of shot or a small button into one corner. Most Magicians, however, find this unnecessary.

Your hands must be kept in good condition for working with silks. They must not be rough or they will catch on the silks. It is well to use Hind's Honey and Almond Cream or any good Benzoin and Almond Cream on the hands just before a performance. These creams give the skin a little stickiness to make it easier to do manipulations. You will find this particularly helpful a little later on when you come to Billiard Ball Manipulation.

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