Friday, April 10, 2009

Let's Finish that Scarf

I last left off with how to paint a silk scarf. We previously finished applying the paint and the next step is to set the ink. You want to "fix" or "set" it so that when you wash your scarf or it gets rained on, the colors won't bleed and ruin your lovely design. Setting the ink is really easy. You just buy some dye fixative. Follow the instructions which involves pouring a small amount of fixative in a cold water bath. Then swish and soak your scarf in the fixative bath water. Don't freak out when when the water turns dark blue, or red or any other color. It's normal for the inks to bleed out into the water. It won't hurt the rest of your scarf. Let it soak for about 5 mins. Hang to dry and you're done! Well, sort of done. With this scarf I decided to get a little crazy and experiment with some gold metallic paint. I painted it on just like the other inks except the you don't have to use the gutta resist. The metallic paint acts more like regular acrylic and you don't have to worry about it bleeding. To set the metallic paint you just iron it, essentially melting the paint into the fabric itself. Then the only thing left to do is have your scarf professionally dry-cleaned. This will cost about $4-$5. I've tried doing it myself with Dryel, but it doesn't work. The reason you have to dry-clean it is to remove the yucky, sticky gutta resist. Once it's dry-cleaned all that will be left is the pure white of the silk. Soft and luxurious and worth a million bucks.

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