Silk gets stiff after painting
  • Newbie here to silk painting....I'm using Dye-na-flow as directed ("Simply apply to pre-washed fabric with a brush, squirt bottle, sponge, or airbrush. Let dry. Iron fabric for 3 minutes on dry setting appropriate for fabric. Wash in cool water with Synthrapol and rinse." ) on silk habotai 8mm. However, after all is said and done, the fabric feels pretty stiff and not like silk at all.

    Any thoughts on what would cause this and, better yet, how to remedy it?

  • You will probably find that with the second wash the softness will return. Also, have you used any resists?
  • Thanks anet, I'll give it a try. Do I need to use Synthrapol again or can I just hand wash with a mild detergeent?
  • just any mild detergent should do.
    ...and you are very welcome!
  • Hi anet...while you seem to be online :).... can you tell me, or point me to some info, regarding the difference btw the silk paints Jacquard sells. For example, why would I want to use the Green Label Silk Colors when the Dye-na-flow seems so simple? Are the colors/end product much better with the green label? Or red label for that matter? I've read the descriptions of each of the products, I think my question is mostly around the end product quality. Is one product really better for better color in the end?

    I'm mostly painting on silk habotai 8mm.
  • yours is an oft asked question. The best answer is kind of long winded...hope you are up for it!

    In terms of color - you are going to get beautiful results with all three products, Green & Red Label Silk Dyes as well as the Dye-Na-Flow, but there are some differences. The Dye-Na-Flow will give you brilliant colors and it is easy to create pastels by adding water (no more than 25%, though!). The Green Label Silk Dyes are also lovely, but the end result is somewhat more toned downed due to the fixing method. The Red Label Silk Dyes are fantastic for brilliance and depth of color and are often used by professional silk painters. Both of the dyes are also easy to blend and to dilute to pastels and 'washes'.
    Here comes the big difference - as I'm sure you've discovered in your research - the fixing methods are quite different. In terms of ease of use the Dye-Na-Flow probably comes first - paint, dry, iron, rinse, go! and while you will find that the feel of the silk will return to near original, there will be a slight 'hand' to it.
    The Green Label is fixed using the Permanent Dyeset Concentrate and this method of fixing is very easy and leaves the silk with no hand at all.
    The Red Label is fixed with steam - using some sort of steam chamber. This method gives brilliant color and no hand, but for some folk the learning curve is intimidating. (Although it's really not so hard, I use an old canner with a rack inside and have had very good results with scarves.)
    I hope this gives you some help as you ponder the way to go - and for inspiration you might want to take a look at some of the galleries here at the Jacquard site:
    Julie Cox Hamm Celia Buchanan

    Natasha Foucault

    or elsewhere: Karen Sistek

  • Hello Anet,

    I am a newbie to silk painting and am ready to do my very first silk scarf with Jacquard Green Label dyes. You mentioned Green label dyes can be set with the dyeset concentrate. Elsewhere I read they can also be steam set?

    I have an old pressure cooker that I no longer use and was going to give the steaming a try in that. Do you have any recommendations on -
    1) how much water to put in the pressure cooker
    2) how much time to steam for
    3) whether to leave the pressure valve on on steam without the valve?
    4) pressure cook at highest setting or midway mark?

  • Hi
    Make sure to follow the directions for your pressure cooker; and have enough water to prevent the steamer from exploding two inches of water in the bottom is a minimum. Place a vegetable steamer in the bottom with a piece of newsprint on top to keep excess moisture vapor from saturating the fabric. Place your fabric bundle in the cooker; secure the lid with the pressure gauge on. 10 minutes should be enough.
  • Dye-na-flow is a silk PAINT, not a dye. That means the color is from pigment particles deposited ON the the silk, instead of a dye which penetrates inside the fibers. There will always be a slight feel to a silk paint vs. a silk dye. Even my customers noticed it in a side by side comparison when I sold both my dyed & painted silk scarves together.

    If the scarf is really stiff, even after a second washing, you may have had the iron set to high or ironed too long and the silk actually got a bit crispy. That can't be changed.

    However, you might try a little hair conditioner on the item. It often gives the silk some extra sheen and may feel softer & silkier.