Monday, 26 September 2011

Tutorial Updated 2013

If you would like to silkpaint, this tutorial will give you an idea of what materials are needed to start you off and how the process works.  I would encourage you to join a class in your area where you can use all the inks and materials and get to see if you like it before investing in your own supplies. 

You need to stretch your silk tightly over an old picture frame or a batik frame and pin it with the five prong pins provided by silk paint suppliers.

Silk is pinned tightly to a frame before painting begins.

Outlining is the next step

The outline is drawn on with a gutta tube - it is a fluid, glue like substance that stops colour penetrating wherever the outline is placed. I like clear gutta but you can buy colours.

when the outline is dry you can colour in and around with the inks

When the gutta is dry, you paint the silk with brushes and water based inks.  You can dilute the colours in a palette or use them full strength.  By wetting areas of the silk before applying paint you can create a muted and blended effect where the colours meet and mingle.  Dropping coarse salt on wet paint will also create interesting effects, also dropping colour on colour produces interesting results.  You will find the colours lead you, they change and blend as they dry and the results can be unexpected at first.

Although the outlay for the products is a commitment, they last a very long time.  You can buy the silk by the metre from online suppliers.

The finished result is left to dry, it looks much brighter before it is finished.  When dry and unpinned you will need to iron your work on a medium heat and then wash to remove the gutta outline (just rinse under a tepid tap), dry it and iron once more.  The completed work can be backed with muslin to make things like lavender bags or spray fixed to cardboard as a picture for framing.


  1. G'day Betty. Very helpful. Makes me want to have a go. Take care. Liz...

  2. Sounds fun. Wondering about water based paints..acrylics?

  3. Hello Betty , you left a comment on my blog so I came to introduce myself and have a look around . I love what I see .
    I am so similar to you in the things you are interested in .I cannot get my head round Harry Potter though .
    I love childrens books , I,m on the lookout for Wind in the Willows .
    I did a course in Silk painting . I have one special piece that I cherish . I love your flower silk pieces . I have all my stuff in the garage , I will have another go but mine is hab,. silk and some pieces of polyester .
    I have joined you as a follower on both your blogs, I'll be back for sure .

  4. Lovely tutorial....I have my paints bought and all the supplies ready but I myself am diffident and haven't had the courage to sit and paint on silk...I think I will have to soon...hope my paints haven't dried yet :)
    Thanks for the share...It looks 'LOVERLY' :D

  5. Hi Betty, Thanks for the tutorial. It looks so interesting. I already have so much things that interest me and your silk painting has peeked my interest. I work on our dairy farm full time and love anything fibre as a hobby and would love to try my hand at silk printing some day.

    JB from Canada

  6. Hi Betty, Thank you for sharing your silk tutorial with us. You make it seem so easy to do....
    I did a 1 day work shop last year and really enjoyed it, but for some reason didn't do any more. I made some hearts out of the silk and was pleased with the design on them.......xx


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