Techniques

I thought you might like to know about the artistic process that created your art piece.

At first,  I pre-wash, iron each silk piece and stretch it on a stretcher frame. Then I draw my design with a gutta resist or a special outliner. This technique is called SERTI (French: “closing” or “fence”). Once the gutta has dried, it acts as a barrier for the dye – keeping the color within the outlined areas of the design.   

Another silk painting technique that I use is a direct paint-on method. Dyes are applied to silk fabric using an exciting array of watercolor techniques: wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry painting, use of salt, alcohol effects. However, the effects on silk are often more dramatic than on paper.

After the dye has dried, I set the color in a silk steamer for 4 hours. This increases the brilliance of the color and allows the dye to permanently bond to the silk on a molecular level. After the steam setting process is completed, the silk is colorfast and washable.

Finally, the scarf is washed again, ironed, and now it’s ready to wear!

Painting on silk might be a long process, but well worth the result. Beautiful colors around your face will compliment your complexion as well as your wardrobe.

Each silk painting is drawn and painted by me one at a time and so no two items are identical. That’s the beauty of the handmade process!

Materials

For silk painting I only use the best quality special silk dyes imported from Europe.  I love painting on various silk fabrics, all 100% silk:

  • Habotai silk – a very light and has a subtle sheen. Habotai is known as “China silk” and it is the classic silk fabric for painting onto. The Habotai silk scarves feel wonderful to wear.
  • Crepe de Chine silk  has a slightly crinkled texture with a gentle, graceful drape, a very soft hand, and a more substantial weight than the Habotai silk. It is lustrous and beautiful to wear.
  • Flat Crepe feels like very, very thin Satin. It is lighter and shinier than the Crepe de Chine, and makes amazing scarves. It stays lustrous and lush, and the effect of the dyes after the steam setting are irresistible.
  • Satin stays heavier but bears the colors gracefully and makes a unique accessory for a more formal outfit.
  • Chiffon is a very light and quite transparent silk fabric, wonderful to feel. Chiffon scarves look magnificent and feather-light to wear. 

Care Instructions

Hand wash in cool to cold water with mild liquid soap. Do not leave soaking for more than a few minutes. Do not bleach. The colors may bleed slightly the first few times that the silk is washed.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar to the final rinse to enhance the brilliance of the colors.

Roll the wet silk in a towel and squeeze gently, but don’t wring.

Iron your silk garment, while it is damp. Keep the iron in the Delicate or Silk scale. Always iron it on the reversed side. Do not steam!

While ironing, do not wet your silk locally as it may cause rings.

Do not hang your silk for display in direct sunlight. Indirect light is fine.

Always use hairspray or perfume before putting on silk garment.

I paint some scarfs using special gold/silver/bronze outlines. These scarfs have very unique appearance due to the brilliant outlines. However, you will notice that the outlines appear slightly raised on the surface of the silk.  Please take extra care not to rub the outlines hard when washing the garment.  Iron only on reverse side on silk setting (no steam).

Storage: Best place to store silk is in a  dark cool closet, either on a padded hanger or laying flat. Silk is a natural fiber so it has to “breathe”. Please do not store in closed plastic bags or plastic containers and avoid direct exposure to sunlight.

Travel tips: You can pack your silk items as you would do with any other clothing. After unpacking simply hang. Minor wrinkles should disappear overnight. Too many wrinkles? Hang in a moist place (bathroom after a shower) and the wrinkles should drop out.