Silk Painting Instructions

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Silk paints

Painting with Jacquard Silk Colors is a fun and easy way to create beautiful, professional looking handpainted silk clothing and art. Use them to create gorgeous and unique scarves, clothing, wall hangings, pillows and more.

Because they are true dyes Jacquard Silk paint do not stiffen the fabric at all and the natural luster of the silk shines through. All 20 colors can be blended to create an infinite variety of brilliant colors or diluted with water to create soft pastels.

Jacquard Silk Painting Techniques

The unique and fun thing about Jacquard is that all 20 colors can easily blend to create an infinite array of brilliant colors, as vibrant or subtle as you like. The three most common silk painting methods differ by how they control the flow of the dye.

Serti Method

In the serti method?the most common method?a resist is used to draw lines that stop the flow of dye. You can purchase resists on our site.

  1. Apply the resist. (Heat setting of water-based resists before the dye set process is a must.)

    1. Pour the resist into the dispenser bottle, replace the plastic insert, and screw on the metal tip.

    2. If you are using a pattern, center the pattern on your work space and place the stretched fabric on top of the pattern. (Most silks are light enough that the pattern lines will be visible through the fabric.) Trace the pattern with the gutta, or trace lightly with a pencil thSilk Painting with Jacquard

We love to use Jacquard Silk Colors for creating beautiful, professional looking, hand-painted silk clothing and art. These dyes never stiffen or damper the natural luster of silk fabrics, so you can use them to create one-of-a-kind scarves, clothing, wall hangings, pillows, and more!

Jacquard Paint Tips


Stretching Silk

  1. Before painting, the silk must be stretched tightly and suspended above the work surface. (Stretcher bars should be 1-2” larger than the silk you will paint. Embroidery hoops work well for small projects, or you can find specific fabric-stretching frames.)

  2. Adjust the frame to fit your fabric: Begin in one corner and work your way around the frame, pulling it taut as you go.

  3. Use stainless steel push pins or silk tacks to attach the silk once it is stretched.

    1. en go over the pencil lines with the gutta.

    2. Hold the gutta bottle like a pencil. Gently squeeze the bottle until the resist begins to flow.

    3. Begin drawing your pattern. Move steadily, but not so quickly that you leave gaps in your lines. All lines must be connected or the dye will bleed through the gaps in the gutta line.

    4. Once you've completed the design, carefully examine the lines. Make sure the gutta has penetrated through to the back. Thin with gutta solvent if necessary. Go back and fill in any gaps, then allow to dry completely. (30 minutes should suffice; you can use a hair dryer to speed things up.)

  1. Mix and apply dye.

    1. Pour a small amount of each color you are planning to use into plastic cups or an ice cube tray.

    2. Dip your brush gently into a color. Touch the brush to the fabric about 1/2" from the gutta line. The dye will migrate the rest of the way. Paint all areas inside the gutta lines. (For large areas, work quickly and paint from corner to corner.)

    3. Let dry 24 hours before setting with Jacquard Permanent Dyeset Concentrate or steaming.

  2. Let your dye set. A few methods for this are below.

Antifusant Method

The antifusant method coats the fabric with a substance that inhibits the flow of dye.

  1. Spread the antifusant liberally and evenly on the silk with a wide brush or sponge. Jacquard No Flow is an excellent antifusant for silk.

  2. Let dry. When painting dyes on the treated fabric use a "dry" brush (i.e. remove excess dye from the brush by dabbing it on a paper towel before painting). A build up of dye on the fabric will enhance spreading.

Watercolor Method

The watercolor method allows the dye to flow freely and beautifully to create a dramatic, textured appearance.

  1. One of the most exciting methods of painting on silk simply involves letting the dyes spread and mix on the fabric. Beautiful free form watercolor effects are produced when silk is dampened and bunched on a sheet of plastic or plexiglass without stretching, allowing dye to flow into the folds producing a dramatic, textured appearance. Silk may also be stretched on a frame for the watercolor technique but will not have the textured appearance since there are no folds for the dye to flow into.

Setting Techniques

Dyeset Concentrate Method

  1. Prepare the dyeset/water rinse in a container that is big enough for your fabric to move freely in the liquid. (A 36" x 36" square of fabric requires about 3 quarts of water. Add 1 oz. of dyeset per quart of water. If painting on heavier weight fabric, add a little more.)

  2. Plunge the piece quickly into the solution, agitating vigorously for the first 30 seconds.

  3. Continue stirring for 4-5 minutes. Do not let fabric sit.

  4. Remove from dyeset.

  5. Rinse again with a mild soap and water, until water is clear.

  6. Lay flat to dry.


Steaming requires more time, but the color yield is very intense. Use commercial steamers when available, or steam smaller pieces at home with the following method.


  1. Roll the fabric in newsprint, making sure there is a layer of paper between each roll of fabric. The paper should extend a few inches beyond the fabric on either end of the roll.

  2. When all the fabric has been rolled, wrap newsprint around the bundle a few extra times.

  3. Secure the roll by taping length of roll.

  4. Coil gently to a size that will fit into the pot. Tape securely.

  5. Place rack into the pot.

  6. Pour water to a level that is well below the bottom of the rack. Make sure top of rack is dry, and place bundle on the rack.

  7. Shape a piece of aluminum foil into a dome and place it over the bundle for protection. This will keep condensation from dripping on the silk. Make sure neither the packet nor the foil touches the sides of the pot.

  8. Cover the pot with the lid.

  9. Place the pot on the stove and bring water to a boil.

  10. Reduce the heat, but keep it high enough to produce steam.

  11. Steam the packet for 1 hour.

  12. Allow to cool, then unwrap the silk and rinse in cool water to remove excess dye.

  13. Lay flat to dry.

silk painting with gutta resist
Silk Painting with Gutta
Fine lines and permanence, dry clean or steam out. View the Rubber Based Gutta
gutta resist silk painting
Water Based Resist
Easy to use, non toxic and water rinseable, great for use with Dye Na Flow & Silk Paints. Safe for amateur silk painters and kids. View the Water Based Resists
Silk painting project
Silk Painting Project