Wednesday, August 18, 2010
To Steam or not to Steam , Silk Dyes or Silk Paints
A couple of important differences between paints and dyes are that silk paints, no matter how thin, cover the silks luminous surface and make it dull. It is the same idea as putting watercolor paint over paper or oil paint on a canvas which will then cover the surface of the canvas. Silk paints also leave a "hand" or stiff feel to the silk and that affects the silks liquid drape. Steam set dyes allow the iridescent brilliance of the silk to shine through and leave absolutely no hand or stiffness to the silk. Because of the steaming process the molecules of the dye actually join with the molecules of the silk so the color becomes part of the silk fibers and does not sit on top of the silk as paints do, therefore the dyes will not cover up the beautiful shinny surface of the silk
The next step will be to re-stretch the silk onto the wooden stretchers and to begin applying the layers of dye.