Paints and Dyes for Painting Silk, Wool, Nylon Fabrics
We have 4 types of silk dyes and paints for painting on silk, wool and nylon, with several brands within each type. All are liquids. All work well and have devoted fan clubs. Different strokes for different folks!
Type 1. Dyes that must be fixed (set) using steam. These give the brightest, most vivid and most washfast results. They leave no "hand" on the silk, (you don't feel anything different where the dye is). Most are French and contain some alcohol. Dupont, Tinfix Design, and Pebeo Soié are examples. Vinyl Sulphon is an American one that is Fiber Reactive and requires much less steaming.
Type 2. Dyes that can be fixed using a liquid fixative, either by dipping the painted silk into the fixative or brushing the fixative onto the silk. Colors are not quite as bright as type 1 and perhaps not as washfast. These can also be steam set and then are almost as bright & washfast as those above. They also leave no feel on the silk. Jacquard Green Label and Tinfix Design are examples.
Type 3. Paints that are very thin, almost like dyes. They are fixed by ironing with a hot iron. Waterbased, totally non-toxic, and very easy to work with. Colors may not be as bright as either of the above. They leave some feel on the silk, but very little. Dyna-flow and Setasilk are the only ones available now.
Type 4. Instant-Set concentrated Pigment Dye- just dilute, paint on and air dry for 12-24 hours. No fixatives, steaming or heatsetting required, although some helps. Like a hybrid between a dye and a paint- Leaves an almost undetectable feel on the silk, and colors are much brighter and more concentrated than Type 3 paints.