For the piece shown, Fray-Check was used around the outline of the leaves, and the silk was cut to follow the lines of the leaves.
Salt sprinkled on wet dye
The silk painting technique is called “Serti” in French, with Serti meaning “fence” or “border.” A resist is used to contain the free-flowing silk dye on the fabric.
If you are using silk that is other than PFD (Prepared for Dyeing), wash the silk in a mild soap and warm water to remove any finishes on the silk – which will interfere with the dye adhering to the fabric. Rinse well and allow to dry to a slight damp before stretching.
Resists (also called “gutta”) come in two types – solvent-based and water-based. The solvent-based must be dry cleaned to be removed, but often gives a more secure resist line. The water-based variety can be washed out with water.
In both cases, the resist is removed after the silk has been steam-set to fix the dye.
Use a light-weight silk – between a 5 and 20 mm (mm = “mommie” – a measure of silk weights) to allow for easy penetration by the resist. A wide variety of silks will work with this technique: organza, chiffon, flat-weave (such as Habotai), crepe or crepe de chine.
There are many excellent silk dyes on the market: DuPont, Sennelier, and others. Most of those companies also make resists. All resists will work with dyes from other companies.
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