A painted silk scarf is artwork that you wear. I love the silk scarf that my daughter made me for Mother’s Day a couple years ago, and I’ve helped my children, friends, and my niece make many scarves as gifts. I did a tutorial on painting silk scarves and once you gather the supplies together, it’s really an easy project and fun to do with kids. Taking it one step further to make a resist design on silk–or batik–is also really easy. I promise! Here’s how to batik on silk.
* Resist liquid
* Large embroidery hoop
* Basic supplies for silk painting (see tutorial here)
1) In addition to the basic supplies needed for silk painting, you’ll need a “resist” material. This resist keeps the paint from saturating the silk and a white (or whatever color silk you are using) design will emerge. Classically, batik is done with melted wax–and you can go that route if you want. For a beginner however, buying a resist liquid is the way to go. You can use the “blue” (blue ONLY) Elmer’s glue, or I like the Silkpaint resist and applicator that you can find at Dharma Trading Company.
You will also need a large embroidery hoop.
2) APPLYING THE RESIST
Put your embroidery hoop tightly onto the area of your silk that you want to make your batik design. Make sure that the silk is taut and tight.
If you’re using the “Silkpaint resist”, fill the applicator with the liquid and gently squeeze onto the silk into the design that you want. Try to use even pressure and make sure that the silk is saturated. Do not move and disturb the silk and LET IT DRY COMPLETELY. (If you’re a little impatient like me, you can gently use a hair dryer)
If you’re using blue Elmer’s glue, put a small amount into a container and using a small brush, paint your design onto the silk. Make sure that you use enough glue to completely saturate the silk. Again, don’t disturb the silk and LET IT DRY COMPLETELY.
3) PAINTING THE BATIK
The key to painting inside and outside of your batik design is to use a light touch to not paint over the resist. The resist liquid is water soluble (so that it can be rinsed out after painting and steaming) and so it can easily be dissolved by brushstrokes over it. Saturate your paint brush with silk paint, place it near the resist and let the silk paint naturally spread out until it hits the resist. There are not shortcuts here–patience and time are needed.
Once you fill in and around the design, move onto the rest of the scarf or playsilk. Let dry completely and set the dye, rinse, dry and iron the scarf.
Knowing how to batik on silk adds that special touch to hand painted silk scarves. And, knowing how to batik on silk will help you save a lot of money on those expensive large “starry night” play silks. (before I knew how to batik, I bought one for my young son!)
I hope that you will take the plunge and make a hand painted silk scarf or play silk for loved ones. It’s wearable art!