Hand Paint a Flowery Silk Scarf

Make a one-of-a-kind silk scarf with painted flowers in bright red, pink and orange.

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Artist Heidi Read of Boise, Idaho, demonstrates how to hand paint a silk scarf using fabric dyes.

Materials Needed:

  • silk scarf
  • vinegar
  • bowl
  • latex or rubber gloves
  • absorbent paper
  • apron
  • fiber-reactive dyes: red, pink, orange, green, black
  • paper cups
  • paintbrushes
  • microwave oven
  • iron and ironing board
  • Synthrapol
  • washing machine
  • dryer
  • permanent marker

Steps:

1. Soak the scarf in a bowl of vinegar. Wearing rubber or latex gloves, squeeze out the liquid.

2. Spread the scarf on absorbent paper.

3. Wear an apron to protect clothing. Mix various colors of fiber-reactive dyes, according to manufacturer's directions, in paper cups. Paint large flowers on the scarf with various paintbrush sizes.

4. Paint the stems and leaves on the scarf with the colored dyes.

5. Paint the background with a desired color.

6. Add detail to the flowers and leaves with black dye.

7. Place a piece of absorbent paper over the top of the scarf and roll the scarf between two pieces of absorbent paper.

8. Place the roll in a microwave oven in two 2-minute segments, resting in between to heat set the scarf.

9. Unroll the paper and remove the scarf.

10. Wash the scarf in Synthrapol in the washing machine, rinsing multiple times.

11. Dry the scarf in the dryer.

12. Sign the scarf with a permanent marker.

13. Iron the scarf and wear.

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