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Fashion Designs and Hand-Painted Silk

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I love to do hand-painted silk scarves. Unfortunately, I don't have photographs of any I have done. In fact, as I think about it, the last time I did a hand-painted silk scarves was in 2001 - I wanted special items to take on a vacation to Charleston, South Carolina. I continue to hope to have time to get back to this and, someday, I will!

Since I can't include a photo of anything I've done, I will show you my all time favorite that was painted by another artist. I'm also including some how to photos and a sample of the scarf my granddaughter Anna did at 2 years old! Since then, she has done face painting for parties.

This is my all-time favorite by a professional and another sample (again, done by a professional artist.


This is my granddaughter when she was two year old painting scarves for her two grandmothers and Anna was so particular about which brush to use. She also painted a silk tie for her grandfather. I still have and wear my scarf. The photos are: 1) Anna prepares to paint; 2) Anna paints; and 3) the finished products, one scarf and one tie (going to Minnesota to her grandparents there) - sorry I don't have this in color, but you can see the color in photo 2. She wore a paint smock and I have a photo of her sitting next to the sink in the apartment and washing the brushes, but didn't add that here.




1ST - Buy plain white silk scarves with rolled (finished) edges from any of a variety of wholesale silk fabric stores online. The scarves are usually just a couple of dollars each, depending on size and shape. You also can find white silk scarves at local craft stores, but they often are more expensive than online. Be sure the edges are already rolled, so the scarf doesn't fray and you don't have to hem the edges! If I remember correctly, I buy my scarves from Dharma Trading Company, but have also used other online resources.

Note, there are lots of books on how to paint silk and you will need supplies, either bought online or from a craft store. There may be some fabric stores that carry the supplies.

2ND - Attach the fabric to an art frame with special silk pins. 

3RD - Gather your tools - fabric paints especially made for silk painting, some type of cup for the paint, brushes, and "resist" if you plan to do specific designs.


4th - with your plastic resist container that has the pointed stainless cap, draw your design. Here are two samples, one is clear resist and one is a strong bead of gold (the resist is like a little wall that stops paint from moving past it so you don't have bleeds of one color into another - you must be sure to put enough resist - too little and it is like the wall has opened)..


5th - paint the silk - some people like to just paint freehand with colors bleeding into other colors and other artists prefer to draw very specific designs, for example flowers. You may want to include your name in a corner and you can use special fabric pens for that or use resist and paint within that signature. 


6th - let your paint dry and then you'll want to press it with a warm iron to "set" the paint.

7th - you can wear your scarf, give it as a gift, or sell your products.


If you do any hand-painted silk scarves (or other fashions), please email me a picture and I'll include the photo here. My email is Lee@LeeGabor.com.


Scarves I paint, square or rectangle start at $150.00

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