Silk Painting: An Artistic Hobby for All
Creating a Shawl
This page shows the creation of a shawl.
First task: stretch the shawl. I tacked it to boards clamped to three wooden benches. The boards are covered with plastic packing tape to prevent them from absorbing and transferring dye.
|Then I applied UnGutta (a wax-like substance) with a squirt applicator bottle, drawing flower and leaf shapes.|
|A close-up of a flower.|
|The flowers and leaves painted in with silk dye. I painted each flower with a first layer of lighter color (yellow with red wash and a light purple wash), let it dry partly, and then applied red to make a center and lines on the petals. I painted each leaf a light green, then overpainted veins with dark green.|
|A close-up showing the purple flowers finished, the yellow flowers minus their center points. The leaves of the flowers in the foreground have not yet been overpainted.|
|After all of the colors were painted. Note that I applied the center dots to the two closest purple flowers after the first layer of red had mostly dried, so the dots look darker and have a hard edge. The dye will lighten as it dries, but the hard edge will remain.|
I painted the background in with black. Painting a
uniform background is tricky because you must keep all edges of the dye
on the silk wet, so no hard edges develop.
Note here how the purple dye from the flower has 'wicked' out into the silk fringe.
The background is now entirely black.
I also painted around the top edge of the fringe with colors that matched the nearest flower or leaf, since dye had already wicked out in some areas. I put wax paper under the fringe, on top of the wooden bench, to prevent a huge mess.
After the shawl dried I wrapped it in white
butcher paper (shiny side out), rolled it into a coil and placed it in
the top of a large steamer pot. The coil is actually resting on an
inverted steamer basket, so that it cannot touch the boiling water
I steamed the scarf for 20 minutes.
|Removing the paper to see the shawl after steaming. Note that some of the colors wicked into the paper - one half of the coil got a little too humid. This mottled the dye on the right side of the shawl a bit, but didn't detract from the pattern.|
I let the shawl sit for 24 hours. Then I rinsed it
in hot water. This melted the UnGutta and rinsed out excess dye.
You can see the blue-black color of the dye washing into the sink, below my hands. .
As soon as the water ran clear, I ironed the shawl
to dry it and smooth out the wrinkles from squeezing out the dye. The
shawl fringe was tangled and wet, so after ironing I put the shawl in
the dryer for 10 minutes, then ironed again.
This picture is simulated - the iron is off and the silk is already smooth from ironing. Never leave a hot iron sitting on the silk!
My daughter Maddie displays the finished shawl
(and hides from the camera!).
Note a few light spots in the black from the dye coming off during the steaming.
|Me, wearing my new shawl.|