Painting on silk cloth, a creative work of art



Silk cloth is made of natural fibre and most of scarves and neck ties are made of silk. Painting silk scarf is very common as many like to be unique in displaying their taste. It’s an art of applying dye on silk cloth and rest is up to you what to make out of painted silk cloth, even the finished work can be framed and hanged on the wall.


Before you start, have an idea of what would you like to paint, starting clue less would not create an eye catchy art work.

Make sure the silk is clean, spot free and oil free surface, so wash it with warm water and dry, better press with iron so that silk is straight and smooth surface. Prepare a mix of water and rubbing alcohol, use one part water and two parts alcohol and mix with brush.
Stretch the silk cloth tightly on a frame, just like a canvas for painting. Wet silk cloth with the mix that would allow more time to paint because it will slow down the drying time. The basic technique for most silk painting starts by drawing outline of your design with the rubber liquid.

Do your art work using silk paints while the cloth is wet,  a rule of thumb is to start with lighter colours and then move on the darker colours. After finish let it dry completely, note that dyes must be set before use, otherwise colours would run and any moisture will leave spots. Until the setting is done, one must be careful in handling silk, or spots may ruin the design.

Allow one shade to completely dry and then start another colour.  Add darker colour on the edges to create a better outline around design. Note that dyes flow freely on silk, so it is artists responsibility to control the movement of the pigment on the silk rather than its placement.

After the painting is complete, steam the silk for many hours. It will sets the dye and increase the intensity of the colour. It would also make the painting permanent and durable. Silk glows with vibrancy therefore adds a wonderful feeling due to which even a simple design looks beautiful on silk.

Always allow time for silk to dry completely before using and don’t expose too much to sunlight as silk is made of natural product so colours will fade.

Helen Roberto is a freelance writer and loves to participate in discussion of textile industry globally. In her spare time, she works as an admin to maintain this blog and few others. Her knowledge on the subject has benefited many associated to home textile manufacturing and marketing.