02 February 2007

Silk paper Tutorial

Lynda of http://www.purplemissus.blogspot.com asked me how I made my silk paper for my postcards so that it was soft and not to much like paper. So I thought I’d put a tutorial on my blog of how I did it for anyone else that is interested.

Here’s a link to ‘Treetops Colours’ Silk paper introduction http://www.treetopscolours.com.au/SilkPaper/SParticle.htm but I have experimented and for my silk paper I use 1 layer of silk tops not the 3 that are recommended in their instructions and in the books I have. Take Silk by Judith Pinnell and Silk Paper creations by Judith Pinnell.

Place a piece of net on a plastic sheet (I use the flat side of bubble wrap).
Pull a length of silk fibres from the tops about 3-4” long and lay on the net.

Continue with more layers of silk tops to size required


Fold net over top of silk fibres


Mix approximately 1 tsp of washing up liquid into 300ml of luke warm water and paint on to both sides of the silk

You have to use some type of adhesiive to bond the silk together. This is taken from http://www.treetopscolours.com.au/SilkPaper/SParticle.htm.

acrylic gloss medium/varnish (atelier brand, by chroma acrylics)

this adhesive is water-repellent, has enough stiffness for sculpting, jewellery, book coverings and mixed media but still leaves the silk with a crisp but pliable handle and is easily machine stitched. it is the more natural feeling of the two mediums.

textile medium (jo sonja's brand, manufactured by chroma acrylics)

this adhesive is water-proof, hand washable and dry cleanable (reduced cycle, reduced moisture, 40oc). it can be used, within limits, for wearable art

wallpaper paste containing methyl cellulose

wallpaper paste with methyl cellulose traditionally is used for adhering rice and other cellulose wallpapers. there are many advantages to using wallpaper paste - it leaves the silk with a wonderfully natural handle......

I use Atelier medium from Crafty Notions mixed 50/50 with water. I mix a small amount at a time into an empty tablet bottle as it collects surplus liquid from the wet silk and this will dilute the medium. Paint the medium on to both sides of the prepared silk working it well into the surface. I pull the top layer of net off the silk so I can check it is thoroughly wetted with medium and to smooth out any wrinkles. It doesn't have to be manipulated like when you make felt.


Move the silk to a drying frame. I’ve pinned net to a canvas frame for this purpose. Don’t leave the wet silk to dry on the plastic – it will become shiny. I put the bubble wrap under the frame to catch any drips.


Allow up to 24 hours to dry in a cool climate less if it is warm. Remove from net and iron if needed to get rid of any wrinkles.


I've had to do this post in 2 stages, naughty blogger wouldn't let me upload all the photos at once but finally got it done.

2 comments:

Natalie said...

Very nice tutorial, great colors

Pincus Panther said...

Many thanks for the hints and tips!