Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Butterfly Painted on Silk

We thought you may like to see how the butterfly in the previous post turned out.  The clear outliner, which acts as a barrier, was applied by following the lines traced with the autofade pen.  The moisture from the outliner makes the ink from the autofade pen start to disappear.

It is important to make sure that all the outlines are joined up so that the paint remains contained within the outline.  The outliner needs also to have fully penetrated the fabric, hold the silk fabric up to the light to check this.

The Deka Silk paint is very fluid and quickly spreads the moment the brush touches the fabric and the outliner stops the paint in its tracks.

Additional applications of paint will intensify and deepen the colours.


The finished silk painting, with flaws. You need to work quickly when painting large areas in one colour, the green paint looks blotchy where it has been painted over and begun to dry. Use a large brush and work confidently, the wet paint will find the gutta outlines by itself. Sprinkling salt on the wet paint will add patterning to disguise blotches, as will drops of water. Alternatively, paint over with another colour.  The silk paint is made washfast on the fabric by heat setting with a hot iron.

Visit the website to browse our range of silk painting products >

Friday, 21 October 2011

The Fabulous Autofade Pen

This post is for those of you who haven't yet discovered the magical autofade pen.  It is a fibre tipped pen which can be used to trace or sketch out designs on fabric and paper.  The violet coloured ink magically fades within 3-4 days or it can be removed immediately with water (see how in our Fact File page Prepare Design for Silk Painting, which also explains how to apply gutta outliner).

The autofade pen is an invaluable tool for silk painters, embroiderers, quilt makers, scrap bookers, dress makers and Batik artists.  It can be used to sketch out designs before making permanent marks on precious fabrics and paper.

Sketching out the design with an autofade pen for silk painting
The Autofade pen being used to trace a design through Pongee silk fabric

Here is a simple design for a flower using an autofade pen on our cotton canvas shopping bag.  It doesn't matter if the sketch looks scruffy because the lines are only there for guidance and the pen marks will fade away completely within 3-4 days. 

  The finished shopping bag with brightly coloured flowers painted with acrylic fabric paints (see our Fact File page for more information on this project).
A hand painted canvas shopping bag would make a great gift for Christmas

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Measuring up for a New Reed

When ordering a reed, check the overall length of the reed you are replacing, including the end caps which add about 2.5cm to the total length. 

The reed height is normally defined by the size of the opening in the beater.  Most looms are flexible in the height of the reed they can accept, which is defined by the shed created between the beater and the upper warps. 

If you're not sure how to measure for your reed, please give us a ring on 01483 565800 as these cut to order items cannot be returned.

40 years after decimalisation our weaving reeds have finally gone metric! We've tried to make the transition as simple as possible, and include a dpi equivalent in the product description, find our more about our stainless steel weaving reeds >

GREAT NEWS We have a quantity of mild steel reeds in 4" and 5" heights, which include 6-14 dpi and have been cut to various lengths.  We're offering the remainder of this stock at a 50% discount, please contact us to discuss availability. 

Friday, 14 October 2011

Polymer Clay Snowman

Christmas is just around the corner and such a fun time for creating.  The simple shape of a snowman can be easily replicated in polymer clay, and the charming character can be hung on the Christmas tree as an ornament.  Find our how the snowman was made from our Fact File page > 

We'll be adding more Christmas ideas to the blog in the next few weeks...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Tixor Malam Wax Melting Pot

If you plan to do a lot of Batik or Encaustic Art, a thermostatically controlled wax melting pot is an essential addition to your tool kit.  This wax melting pot is mains operated through a British 3 pin plug.
The Tixor Malam Wax Melting Pot
The melting capacity of the Tixor Malam Wax Pot is 300ml and the adjustable thermostat can be set from 0 through to 135°C.  This means the temperature can be set to keep the melted wax in a liquid state while you are using it. 
It is important that the wax remains liquid so that it can pass into the bowl opening of the tjanting and flow freely through the spout at the bottom.  Heating enough wax to fully submerge the tjanting bowl will ensure that the wax does not cool down and block the spout.  

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