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Silk Veil Poi & the Illusion of Fire


Written By: AeonisPi

February 24, 2015 at 3:44pm


Here's a quick FAQ for those who are curious \(^o^)/

  • What do you call the fire thingies?

  • Where'd you get your poi?

  • Can I make my own veil poi?

  • What size are your veils?

  • How'd you make/dye them? 

  • Why Rit dye? Why didn't you use an acid dye?

  • How can I learn to spin those?



What do you call the fire thingies?

They are called silk veil poi. 



Poi itself, as wiki describes it:

refers to both a style of performing art and the equipment used for engaging in poi performance. As a performance art, poi involves swinging tethered weights through a variety of rhythmical and geometric patterns. Poi artists may also sing or dance while swinging their poi. Poi can be made from various materials with different handles, weights, and effects (such as fire).


Silk veil poi or voi are a variation created by Dana Beaufait.  From Dana's page (!veilpoi/clcd):

[Veil Poi] Is a mix between the classic Belly Dance prop Veil and the classic Maori tribe prop Poi. It was created in 2006 to give fire performers the ability to show there skills of spinning with out the worries of fire, with keeping the intense look and feel of whirling balls of flame. 


Where'd you get your poi?

I started off with a pair of silk veil poi in white that I bought off ebay and then dyed them with 3 colors to get the fire look.


Can I make my own veil poi?

Sure!  There are tutorials out there on how to construct your own set.  There are two parts to it: 1) Making the Poi weight/ball 2) Making the veil.


Here are a few links to get you startedl:

What size are your veils?

My veils are 36" x 91" and are rectangle shaped.  Different shapes give different effects.  Since I was imitating fire, I liked the "jagged" edge look of the rectangle near the head of the poi, but there are also half cirle and semicircular veils.   The length really is up to what the user plans to do.  Some moves just won't work well with longer veils.  Some moves look much more majestic with longer veils. There is no one size fits all sadly. :)


Personally, I will be making my next set wider than 36". 


How'd you make/dye them? [Brief overview]

Once I recieved the poi I bought, I removed the silks and washed them.  First, I dyed the the both silk veils using Rit Dye in GoldenYellow.

Once dry, I wrapped the fabric loosely like a burrito and pinned the sections together to ensure I'd get an even graideint.

This time, I only let a porition of the fabric into the bath.  

After I felt it had enough color, I started to dip it to get a gradient transition between the two colors. 

I allowed these to dry completely.  

Finally, I mixed up Rit Dye in Scarlet.  I let an even smaller portion sit in the bath.  Once I felt that have enough color, dipped it to make the gradient transiton [no photo yet >_>;;;]

And that's the basic concept I used. :>


Why Rit dye? Why didn't you use an acid dye?

I actually prepared these to perform in the Setsucon host auction in late January.  I needed them done super quick and didn't have time to order anything online. I had to use a local stores and thus.. rit dye.  I found it to be quite effective for my purposes.


How can I learn to spin those?

If you are looking to seriously learn some moves, I'd suggest getting down just poi first.  I personally use tennis balls on parachord when I practice new moves [because you will smack yourself...].  Furthermore, the veils have a tendency to wrap and tangle, so it can be very frustrating and discouraging if you jump straight into it.


I learned much of my flow arts tech from youtube.  As for a personal recommendation to get started, I direct you toward Drex:


For other veil poi questions and inspiration you may also want to visit:

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