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The Silk Painting Technique

Silk painting supports very old traditions in Asia. It has also been popular in France and Hungary for the past couple hundreds of years. In the fifties the technique spread in Western Europe. The silk painting movement reached the U.S. in the seventies. Various resists have been used to control the spread of ink on fabric. These include wax (as in batik) and gutta-resist.

The gutta-resist method uses gutta, a type of glue, to trace a design on stretched silk. These water-resist lines create a barrier to the inks. This allows the drawing of cells on the silk canvas. In this way, both the mixing and stopping of the inks offer many options in design. Water-resist silk painting is easy and dynamic. The technique is in many ways similar to watercolor with planning and timing being of the essence.

The process is a commitment as changes to a piece after the initial work are difficult. This commitment requires planning, but also adjustments as the piece develops in a dynamic way. I enjoy experimenting with color and design. The natural shine of silk brings out the contrast between warm and cold tones and adds to the display of colors.

White silk with gutta lines


Painted silk
Silk by Claire - 660 South Moore Rd - Rising Fawn, GA 30738 - Tel: 706-398-9175