Category Archives: Silk Painting Techniques

How Do You Dilute Dyes and Paints?

I am going to post a good question here that I recently received at Online Silk Painting Class.

 Question was: I have Dupont Silk Dyes, but am not sure how to dilute them. They didn’t come with any instructions. Your lesson says you use “your home made dilutant of 3 parts alcohol and 1 part water”.

Is this mixed with an equal ratio of dye? Or does it vary according to how concentrated you want the color?

I also have Dye-Na-Flow paint. Are there any guidelines for these?

Any information would be appreciated.
I am so glad I found your class online. Your instructions are very well written and I am enjoying your class very much. I hope you will consider doing an advanced class sometime in the future.

My answer was: That is great you have both steam set (Dupont) and heat set Dye-Na-Flow paints. Dupont dyes are highly concentrated. Some professional silk painters just dilute 50% water and 50% dye. They usually need some diluting the exception is black. You can dilute with water to the desired tint. I always drop about 1 teaspoon of my home made dilutant into about a third a cup of dye. Dupont also makes a dilutant see this link and has suggested amounts.

It seems to make solid large areas less streaky. I have some but do not really care for it that much. I think I enjoy the unpredictability of just adding water and a little home made dilutant. That is just my taste you may have a different taste. Dye-Na-Flow does not need to be diluted unless you want a lighter tint. That is the only reason to dilute. Again it is a matter of your preference. Regarding advance class in the future…I may do mini courses for certain techniques IE “Plein Air” painting with silks, different experiments in pre-treating silk, and so on. I hope that helps.

Have fun. Francine

Brilliant Way to Copy Your Design

Don Baker

My magic pens just don’t work.  The ink disappears too quickly.  I use a bit of vine charcoal or charcoal pencil to transfer my images to silk.  Used lightly, they wash right out of the silk.  Its great because I can spend a day transferring my work for the week, then just move on to gutta and painting whenever I like.



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Sodium Alginate (sea weed) Can be Used as a Resist and Dye Thickner

sodium alginate as a water-based resist
by jeanne morrison

June 13, 2009 in 1 | Tags: 

in recent posts (the prior two i think) i experimented to find a cheap water-based resist for silk painting. you can get little tubes or bottles of proprietary resist from the dye houses, but they’re way fucking expensive, and i’ll be damned if i’m going to be held hostage to somebody’s formula. grrr.

so i thought about it, and looked it up, and found recipes for rice starch paste and other things that i didn’t like the look of. and i cast my eye on my little unused bag of sodium alginate. i had it because all the books said to have it. to thicken the dye. but in silk painting you want watery dyes. thick dyes are for like painting dye directly on cotton fabrics. for silk you use a resist line.

of course, this is mere tradition. you can use what you like on what you like. that’s art. the question is rather of the integrity of your materials. how long will your work last is more important than what brand of paint you used.      read more…

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