A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Waxing on silk

Here are some pieces that I did in silk a little while ago.  I apologize for not taking process photos along with the finished fabric.

This first piece is silk organza.  I had used a plastic lace doily beneath the fabric and rubbed a block of soy wax over the surface, trying to capture its lovely laciness (is that a word?).  What I found was that the organza was too loosely woven to truly capture the image of the lace.  But I didn't find that out until after ironing the wax out of the piece.  This is sponge painted with Setasilk paints. 

Here I've used one of those springy whisks to stamp molten wax into a random pattern on habotai silk.  Depending on the amount of wax on the whisk, the circles were thick to begin with, getting finer and fainter with each press.  Painted with SetaSilk.

Here's another piece done with the springy whisk.  I purposely used a heavy load of wax (and I think perhaps it was a bit cooler because I had just added additional wax to the molten wax in the pan).  I kind of like the blobby images with their little nubs.  This is also habotai painted with SetaSilk using my favorite brush:  a sponge.

All in all, I have to say I just LOVE silk.  What a difference from cotton, so glossy and slinky.  Yum!


  1. I've never dyed, waxed or painted on silk but I really want to try it. Everyone who works with it absolutely loves it. Do you get your silk fabric at Dharma? The silk fabric at Joann's and Hancock Fabrics that I've checked out seems kind of flimsy--there's got to be better silk out there somewhere.

  2. Silk is now my official favorite fabric...even to the point where I'm going to divest myself of most of the commercial fabrics I have stashed (boy, is that going to hurt!).

    The habotai that I've used here is 12 mm weight. There are lighter weights available, as well as I think 16 and 19 mm depending on whether you want 44" or 54" or wider. The habotai is a very nice fabric. Charmeuse, tho, is a wonderful, heavier fabric that is just fabulous, and of course, pricier. You can get samples of fabrics from the vendors to be able to feel them. I've listed 2 below.

    Dharma Trading Co. has an excellent selection of silks. They have several weights of habotai; charmeuse (decadent!); twill; gauze; organza and a few others, including black. The nice thing about Dharma is that they will discount the price if your purchase in volume.

    Another place to buy is ExoticSilks.com. They wholesale, but their prices are good. Different fabrics than Dharma.

    You might also check DenverFabrics.com. Or just google PFD silk. I haven't checked all the resources available, but the 2 listed above are the best I've found. Hope this helps!

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