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Silk Painting - Choosing The Right Dye or Paint Type

Choosing Silk Dyes/Paints

We have 4 types of silk dyes and paints, 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 are fixed (set) using steam. These give the brightest, most vivid and most washfast results. They leave no "feel" on the silk (you don’t feel anything different where the dye is). Most contain some alcohol. Professional silk painters often use these. Dupont, Tinfix Design or Jacquard Silk Colors RED LABEL and Vinyl Sulphon series' give very vivid results when steam set.

Type 2. Dyes that can be fixed using a liquid fixative, either by dipping the painted silk into the diluted fixative, brushing or better yet spraying the diluted fixative onto the silk. These produce colors that some say are not quite as bright as type 1 and perhaps not as washfast. These dyes can also be steam set and then are perhaps almost as bright & washfast as those above. They also leave no "feel" on the silk. Jacquard Silk Colors GREEN LABEL and Tinfix Design are examples of versatile dyes can can be fixed either way.

Type 3. Paints that are very thin, almost like dyes. They are fixed by ironing with a hot iron after they are dry. They are waterbased and very easy to work with. The colors may not be as bright as either of the above, or maybe they are - matter of opinion. They leave some "feel" on the silk, but not so much that it is a problem for most people. Dyna-flow, Setacolor and Setasilk or Dharma Pigment Dyes are examples.

Type 4. Instant-Set Silk Dye Quick and easy, just dilute, apply them as desired and they will "fix" to the silk almost immediately. Colorhue Silk dyes are a newer product for us and we're still learning all they can do!
Dharma Pigment dyes (mentioned above), if given sufficient air cure time time and a tumble in a very hot dryer you can also get very nice (if not as brilliant) color with the...ok, not so instant as Colorhue, but they're great for working with kids.

For beginners, we recommend starting with either Type 2, 3 or 4. It's easy to have a good experience with those. As you progress, you may decide to switch to Type 1 for the added depth and brilliance of color. No matter what you choose, have fun and don't be afraid to ask questions. That's what we're here for!


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