Silk painting colours
Articles, Tutorials

This article is about silk painting colours. What type of silk colours exist in modern art world, What kind of colours I prefer and why.

There are three main type of silk painting colous:

Steam-fix Dyes: fixed by steaming

Heat-fix paints: fixed by dry heat e.g., hand iron

Self-fix paints: fix on contact with silk at room temperature

Silk paints are liquids in the consistency of water. They are usually applied to the silks with a brush using method similar to watercolour painting.

I have found that for me the best results are obtained using iron-fixed silk paints. When a layer of paint is dried with a hair dryer it is fixed and will not run when the next layer of paint is applied.This gives me an opportunity to work on silk in a negative painting style. The basic idea is to paint a darker background around the lighter objects. In other words, you define various objects from close to distant, gradually revealing their shapes and creating more depth and dimension with each layer of color.



There are two type of silk paint:

Flowable Silk Paints
These paints are liquid, almost the consistency of dyes. Most are transparent or almost transparent. They are heat set with an iron.
Salt and alcohol techniques can be used and they can be used with water-based resists.

I prefer Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow. It’s a very thin and fluid textile paint that has the consistency of water. It can be used for watercolour like washes. This is the only brand which is easy to find in Australian art supplier stores.



Opaque Silk Paints
These are useful when one wants a dark colour with full coverage.
They can be air dried or heat set.

I use Jacquard Textile Colors . These are medium bodied semi-opaque paints, ideal for fabric painting with a brush detailed designs .


The middle of the painting below is an example of usage of the Jacquard Textile Color paints.


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