A range of brilliant translucent colors which has been manufactured with a new acrylic resin, preserving the luxurious texture and softness of silk fabrics. Colors are applied with a soft brush or sponge, and extend easily and evenly, without streaking; they are formulated for permanence, and are fixed by ironing. The range contains a full assortment of tonalities, all mixable with one another; Anti Flow and Flow Mediums and Thickener, as well as a complete selection of Guttas in a handy tube with applicator tip (please see technical information). Silkcolor can also be applied on thin cottons, viscose and other delicate fibres. Silkcolor is not hazardous to users’ health or to the environment if employed in a normal manner. Brushes and utensils can be washed with water and soap. Preparing the Silk Silk fabrics do not usually contain sizing, & need no special preparation. Due to its transparent nature all fine silks need to be stretched on a frame, since otherwise the application of gutta and paint will pass through the fabric immediately & stick to the surface underneath.
Fixing the Silk on the frame Most silk painters use a wooden frame to fasten and stretch the silk to provide a free floating surface for painting. Metal grips with elastic bands will hold the fabric in the air without touching the frame, but commonly three sided thumbtacks are used, only one tack fixing the fabric to the wood. The idea is to stretch the silk as tightly as possible with a minimum contact to the wooden frame, since such contact will divert the flow of the paint.
Natural Technique This technique allows the colours to run into one another freely, and results in soft shadings of colours. It takes practice to control the results or create a design. Contrasting shades are best for this technique, and the colours will flow even more quickly on silk which has been previously moistened.
Salt Technique Ordinary rock salt (or dishwasher salt) sprinkled on still wet silk paint (as on a fabric painted with the “Natural Technique”, for example) will absorb the pigment, and leave paler, crystal shaped dots. This effect can also be used for the heart of flowers, snowflakes, etc. Sugar causes a similar effect, but absorbs less moisture, so that the result is not always predictable.
Technique with alcohol Painted areas can be lightened by rubbing them with a Q-tip moistened with alcohol. Applying alcohol over the entire area to be painted will give the paint a little more resistance against flowing, and can create interesting effects with some practice.
Sun Technique This consists in placing cut-outs or random objects (leaves, buttons, scissors, etc.) on the painted and still wet silk and leaving the silk, stretched on the frame, to dry in direct sunlight. The shape of the objects will remain printed on the silk (in negative) once the fabric is dry.
Antidifuser Technique The application of No-Flow Medium (Ref. 43780) makes it possible to control the flow of the colours and to paint on silk with watercolour techniques. The No-Flow Medium can be applied with a large, soft brush and must be allowed to dry completely. Once the medium is dry, the silk will have a papery touch, which disappears with the first washing. Colours can be applied normally, as if working on paper. It is not necessary to apply any kind of gutta to control the flow of the paint, but gutta can be used as an outliner or for highlights. (Some artists use starch or even hairspray instead of No-Flow Medium, but the results are uneven, and depend very much on the brands employed.) Once paint has been applied to the silk, details can be brushed on (with a dry brush) without spreading, but this technique should be used sparingly; the lighter silks are too delicate to hold several layers of paint.
Stencil and Stamp techniques The opaque and pearlescent guttas of the Silkcolor range are ideal for stencilling and stamping techniques on silk (as are colours from the Textilecolor range). However, the thicker consistency of the guttas limits their use on delicate fabrics. On heavier silks Silkcolor, Gutta and Textilecolor can be used at will, depending on the effect the artist wishes to achieve.
Finishing... After applying the colours, let them dry properly before removing the silk from the frame. Silkcolor is then fixed by ironing with dry heat for about three minutes - not with a steam iron, since the moisture of the steam will counteract the drying effect. The coloured and pearlescent guttas should be ironed thoroughly, but on the reverse side, and if possible with aluminium foil or similar underneath, to avoid gutta sticking to the surface of the ironing board. (For transparent gutta, the less ironing the better, since it will disappear with the first washing). After fixing the colours, silk can be washed gently in lukewarm water with vinegar and salt, and dried between towels to eliminate excess water. In any case, we would recommend waiting at least 48 hours before washing.
PDF brochure Silk Colors