Saturday, 11 February 2012

How To Make Hand Painted Silk Scarf

Wouldn't you like to be able to create your own artistic silk scarf? Well, you can. With a few tools from the arts & crafts supply store and a little imagination, you can have a beautiful silk scarf in a few hours!

Begin by using whatever supplies you might have at home already. Paint brushes, plastic pans and buckets, styrofoam cups and plates, sponges, rubber gloves, paper towels, white vinegar and salt crystals.

Now go to the arts & crafts store and find three acrylic paints that you like, plus one or two metallic ones such as gold and silver. Then go to the fabric store and find ready silk scarves or silk fabric suitable for scarves, such as an 8-10 mm habotai silk.

Prepare a well-ventilated area at home with a small table covered with plastic. Take the silk fabric or scarf and soak it in the half white vinegar, half water mixture in a pan or bucket. While the silk is soaking, take out your paints and styrofoam cups, mix about a tablespoon of acrylic paint with a tablespoon of water, stir with a brush until the mixture is even and no pigments are floating around. Do this with each color you've selected, even the metallics.

Take the soaked silk fabric, wring it out under running water quickly, and take it to the table where you're working. At this point you can take paper towels and spread them out to cover the table or the area where you will be placing the silk scarf. Lay the fabric piece on top of the paper towels.

Now take one of your acrylic colors and make broad brush strokes in any pattern on the scarf. Take another color and do the same, overlapping here and there with the first color. Follow this with the third color by dripping the paint from the brush all over the scarf. Notice how the various colors will run into each other and make interesting abstract patterns, sometimes taking the texture from the underlying paper towels.

Have another silk scarf soaking in the vinegar-water mixture while you're painting the first piece. While it is drying slightly to the point the colors aren't running any longer, think about your next color combination for the scarf soaking in the bucket. You might want to add some metallic gold or silver this time with a finer brush. You might also sprinkle some salt crystals onto the fabric at this point and see what happens.

As soon as the first scarf is no longer wet and you can lift it off the papertowels, place it gently onto a styrofoam plate and put it into the microwave oven for 1-1.5 min. on medium. This will heatset the paints nicely and dry the silk scarf more. Take it out and hang it to air dry outside if you can or in the laundry room near an open window. Sometimes the vinegar odor lingers a while but most of the time it's gone by the time the scarf is dry.

Keep this procedure going for as many silk scarves as you want to make. Change out the paper towels in between, but save them for another painting session. The paper towels will dry in pretty color patterns and can be used again. The brushes can be used again, just clean them in soap and water. The cups and plates can be reused as well, just run water over them and make sure any paint residue is gone. I use thin rubber gloves to protect my hands but you can do this if you're neat and careful about rinsing your hands in between things.

Try scrunching the fabric, try twisting it into a long sausage, try folding it into pleats and see what happens when you drip the paints over these. Have some paints in applicator tip bottles and spray bottles if you like for added effects. Don't be afraid to experiment with color combinations and techniques, that's the whole idea here. Have fun!

After the silk scarves have dried, I then iron them with a medium iron and I sometimes sprinkle water on them if they're really wrinkled from the process. Then sign your creations with a permanent fabric ink pen and give them away as gifts to friends and family!

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