Cheri's Silk Painting Process
My primary medium is fiber-reactive dyes on silk or silk blends. I like the fluidity of dyes, their transparent quality and vibrancy of color. I begin with white silk and gradually build up layers of transparent color from light to dark using fiber-reactive dyes. The whites and light colors need to be "saved" (just as in watercolor) since you cannot “erase ” the dyes or paint light over dark. I do not use resists, such as beeswax or gutta, in my silk painting. I paint the dyes directly on the fabric controlling the flow with various paint brushes. When the painting is complete, I steam the fabric for 40 minutes to set the dye. A chemical reaction occurs and the dye molecules bond to the silk and become a permanent part of the fabric. The dyed fabric can then be washed. The picture below shows a painting in process.