- it removes the gum from the worms and coccoons
- it removes all starches and chemicals used in the preparation of the silk
- it allows better application and absorbency of the dye
- it allows the gutta/resist to work better
Not sure where I read to do this, but it does work for removing Gutta resist. Get a large pickle jar or something similar and pour about three inches of Naphtha (Available at most hardware stores in the US) into it. Put your silk in the jar, put the lid on and shake a few times. Let set for 10 to 15 minutes until the Gutta is removed. Take the silks out and hang dry. Naphtha is flammable and can harm you so be careful – wear rubber gloves. I have to use this because none of the dry cleaners in my area will touch my silks.
This is a great tip Don as fewer and fewer dry cleaners use the chemicals necessary to remove solvent based resists like gutta.
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…