all images by Dawn T
You will need silk fabric paint, silk fabric (I used ready made due to time constraints), paint brushes, paint palette or glass jars, newspaper, rags and/or sheets, trash bags and an open space. I used all the colors labeled green, but ended up mixing in quite a bit of yellow with several of the colors that read more in the blue family.
I used my dining room table and covered with trash bags, then a sheet and newspapers. The fabric needs to be suspended so that the surface underneath will not affect how the paint moves on the fabric. This is usually done with a stretcher, but keeping the project low budget and on the fly, I improvised by tying string and a binder clip the the backs of my dining chairs. Then I stretched the silk piece by attaching the binder clips to all four corners of the fabric. You might have to move your chairs apart and around a bit to get the most even stretch possible.
PAINT & SALT
I just started experimenting by pouring some of each paint color into palette and applying to my fabric in large shapes. I liked keeping a dark and light shade next to each other to allow for more dramatic bleeding. I found that I achieved a better starburst effect with the salt if applied right after I finished with each color. By painting to the edges and puddling a little paint around the binder clips, I eliminated the white edges.
You could leave the silk piece suspended where you painted it to dry, which will happen pretty fast. I found that pulling them down and hanging on the line allowed me to move to the next piece immediately and in the hot summer sun, they were dry in less than five minutes. Put them somewhere safe for the next 24 hours before the next step. Anywhere without moisture should be just fine, I laid mine on a towel over night.
You must set the dye in the fabric in order to make them durable and so they will not bleed when wet. I chose to use the Jacquard Dye set also due to time constraints, but believe you get the best color retention when steam setting. I wish I had some tips to share here, but I just followed the package directions. During the rinse stage, I used my washer on gentle setting and cold water.
I will say to not be too nervous when the water you dunk the scarves in turns very very green (or whatever main color you used), everything was fine in the end. Next time I’ll try steam setting and let you know how that goes.
Also on the to try list: Eco Dyeing. I plan to enjoy my scarves as tables runners, light fall accessories, cushion covers, and maybe make some for future gift giving. I might try to use one on a skeleton lamp shade frame I’ve got. Do you have any thoughts on creative uses for these?