Hand dying silk scarves…

As promised on IG (follow me #valartist) and FB (#thecustombrush) I am going to write a little about the process I used to make some silk scarves.

First let me say that a lot of artist don’t “get” needing a break from painting. But I do need one, I always have. Especially after having cranked out 4 larger paintings. This doesn’t mean I’m not feeling creative, but rather I need some time to concentrate on thoughts and ideas for the next work. Creating Sassy Wine Chick Comics or silk scarves provide me a fun, and relaxing mental break from the concentration and emotionality involved in my art.

I love using a technique called faux batik to create my silk scarves. Basically that’s a fancy way of saying I used gel glue for the resist. Yep, you read that correctly, i use Elmer’s Gel Glue (I am not being paid to endorse this brand). I read about the technique a few years back and it works!

Scarf how to(short version):

To create a scarf takes a few days. A lot of people do not realize that the process IS labor intensive. Each step is important to the success of your work. Creating and drawing a design, are step one. Next comes the painting phase, carefully applying paint to the areas and controlling it is a practiced skill. (I am still working on that) the dye should dry for 24 hours to allow it time to set up as much as possible. Next comes the steam set. I did a lot of research and video instruction watching until I figured out a way to rig my own version of a process that requires at least 2 hours of consistent steam time. The scarf must be wrapped and prepped to protect from mishaps. *I advise anyone to really study this step before you attempt it, otherwise your lovely scarf and artistic design could be ruined. Then comes the rinsing, to remove residual dye and your resist. This is also where the gel glue will test your patience. It takes multiple attempts and there are tips and various tricks you can read about to help your cause. Washing and rinsing the scarf will take at least 5 attempts. Some say 10. Last you should rinse your scarf in downy (scent free). I leave mine to soak for about an hour or so. Different chemicals will affect the fibers in different ways, the softener helps return the soft “silky” feel. Lay the scarf flat to dry and finally you are ready to iron. Some suggest putting an iron cloth or something between the iron and scarf. After all this is finished if you wish to add some gold fabric paint as embellishment I do that here. I usually iron it once more to set the paint. Fabric paint has come a ways since I last used it, the brand I used is very soft and leaves no texture feeling on the scarf!

Good luck!

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