Silk painting

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As the history above suggests, silk painting has been with us for a long time. Silk painting is the application of paints or dyes directly onto silk fabric using an exciting array of watercolour techniques. The colours are brilliant, vibrant and translucent and merge on the fabric which remains soft and to touch. Silk painting uses gutta as a resist,meaning that fancy patterns can be achieved.

When silk paint or dye is applied to the fabric it will, if left to its own devices, produce a watercolour-like effect.

Stretch your silk on a frame. Make sure the fabric is evenly stretched, neither too tight nor too loose. If it’s too loose, it will sag and the dye will make puddles. Spray the silk with a diluted mix of water and rubbing alcohol (two parts alcohol to one part distilled water).Wet down the silk with this solution (it will later allow the dye to spread and dry with a soft edge). It also allows more time to paint as it slows down the drying time. This is called the Wet-on-Wet technique. Apply the first layer of dye while the silk is still wet. Add a darker color (such as a darker shade of your primary color) next to add dimension to the design while the silk is still wet. In general, always start with light shades then move on to darker colors. Since the colors in silk painting are transparent, once you go dark, it’s hard to go back to light.You can also add salt to the silk as you spray to achieve a more mottled texture.