Silk Painting Process

Painting starts with a pure white hand hemmed silk scarf, or with silk fabric. It is suspended on a wooden frame using pins and elastic cords.

Sometimes I treat the silk with a “stop-flow” chemical to allow me more control in the painting process. Or sometimes I like to use the flowing characteristics of the silk to attain desired effects.

Once the silk is prepared I paint it using high quality silk dyes and a variety of paint brushes. For complex designs I may pre-draw the design on the silk. For simpler designs I may refer to a photo but paint it free hand.

The silk must dry for 24 hours, then is layered with clean newsprint, rolled and secured with tape. The roll is placed in my home-made steamer, then steamed for between 1 and 4 hours, depending on the brand of dye used.

My home-made steamer

When steaming is complete and the roll has cooled off, the paper is removed and the scarves are washed several times in a mild soap or shampoo, then rinsed with cream rinse, hung to dry and ironed with a warm (not hot) iron while still damp.