We feel this is one of the best classroom activities because kids and adults alike,
no matter what their skill level or inclinations, will have great results. There will be
a sense of pride and satisfaction with this project. The process of painting the dyes on silk,
watching the colors flow on the fabric, is enchanting
There are many approaches to painting the hoops. They can be painted in the
traditional silk painting method of applying a resist to outline a design and
then filling in the shapes with color. They can be painted in a more freeform
watercolor style that doesnt include the use of the resist. A salt technique for
adding texture to a painted area can be applied to any wet area of color. Drawing
with the resist can be done on top of the dry painted hoop.Or stamping can be done
with other textile paints. The main thing to remember is to experiment and have fun!
Apply the resist. In the resist technique, the gutta/water-based resist lines are
drawn on and the dyes are applied within these lines. When painted on, the dyes will
flow and spread on the silk until it reaches the resist lines. The resist acts as
a boundary between colors much like lead in a stained glass window. These islands
of color can be blended, highlighted or accented with other colors.
a. Pour the resist into the dispenser bottle, replace the plastic insert and screw
on the metal tip.
b. If you are using a pattern, center the hoop over the pattern. The silk is
light enough that the pattern lines will be visible through the fabric.
Trace the pattern with the resist, or trace lightly with a pencil and then
go over the pencil lines with the resist.
c. Hold the resist bottle like a pencil. Gently squeeze the bottle until the
resist begins to flow. It is a good idea to practice on a separate piece of
silk or paper until you get the feeling of drawing smooth, flowing, continuous lines.
d. Begin drawing your pattern. Move steadily, but not so quickly that you leave
gaps in your lines. All lines must be connected or the dye will bleed through
the gaps in the resist line.
e. Once youve completed the design, carefully examine the lines. Make sure
the resist has penetrated through to the back. Go back and fill in any gaps.
Let the resist dry completely, usually 30 minutes. Use a hair dryer to speed drying time.
Mix and apply the dye. Use Dye-na-Flow or Silk Colors.
a. Use straight from bottle or use an ice cube tray to mix colors.
b. Dip your brush gently into a color. Touch the brush to the fabric about 1/2 from
the resist line. The dye will migrate the rest of the way. Paint all areas inside
the gutta lines. For large areas, work quickly painting the color from corner to
corner. Always work wet to wet. Never go over a dry area.
c. For the silk hoop paintings, setting the dyes is not necessary.
Salt Technique: A beautiful starburst affect can be achieved by sprinkling salt over the
fabric while still wet. Different size salt granules can be used, from table salt to rock
salt, to create different size starbursts. The larger the granule, the larger the effect.
The salt should be applied immediately while the fabric is still very wet. The salt crystals
will begin to soak up the dye as it dries.
Watercolor Method: One of the most exciting methods of painting on silk incorporates the
wonderful qualities of the colors spreading and mixing on the silk. Simply paint one color
next to another. The dyes will flow and blend automatically. You may pre-wet the fabric to
enhance this effect.