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Updated on February 9, 2015

Glamorous Scarves, Stoles & Wraps

Wrap yourself in the warmth of a pashmina or luxuriate in the glow of a hand-painted gossamer scarf. Silk scarves are hand painted using special fabric paints or dyes in the hands of skilled artisans. Each scarf is unique because it is impossible to recreate a hand painted scarf.

Water based paints and dyes interact with the water used to wet the silk, often leaving signs and marks from the very nature of the medium. It's like the laying on of water's own "handprint".

I made my own set-up, using a set of large artist's stretcher bars. Instead of pinning the corners/edges into the frame (they just popped out - egads!).

For me, it worked best to sew the scarf fabric onto the frame. I cut an especially long piece of silk thread, and sewed through the fabric edge, and all the way around the stretcher bar side and back up to catch the scarf a couple inches away from the first thread.

I worked that way all around the frame, with the result looking like a trampoline for butterflies.

Now, I'm a woman who taught herself how to wire a house - two two-hundred amp panels - while living in a campsite hidden away above our homesite in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. I love to learn by doing, and I am a painter - to boot!

All the while I worked on my first scarf, I thought about painting with oils. In fact, I dumped a whole pot of dye on my living room carpet, and that sort of set the tone for my scarf-painting endeavor. Luckily for me the carpet was set to be removed for renovation when I moved out, and I covered what remained of the stain after I spent a day or two sopping it up.

In that apartment the kitchen couldn't hold my art spot, so I used the larger living room to do my work. Recommending you at least cover an area of carpet extending four feet out around the perimeter of your frame, if you decide to explore this fantastic art. I've set aside my plans for further scarf-painting until I have a studio with cement floors.

Watching these videos does present some background knowledge of the work artisans go through to produce the exquisite pieces of work that we display as treasured accessories. Tweet

Appreciate Silk Painting

Silk Painting: The Artist's Guide to Gutta and Wax Resist Techniques
Silk Painting: The Artist's Guide to Gutta and Wax Resist Techniques

Silk is luxurious and strong. Painting on silk is a craft that is carefully and lusciously explained in this comprehensive book. Whether you decide to do your own or to buy the best, the education in appreciation and skill-building is critical to select the highest quality silk scarves.


Kits Make for Easy Scarf Painting

Discover Silk Painting
Discover Silk Painting

A full kit for the beginner. Complete with silk paints, brush and includes a wood frame for doing the project.


Silk - the Virtuous and Sensuous Fabric for ArtsySilkScarves is Painted by Fabric Artists

No fabric has such a rich history as silk. The elegance of silk scarves is well known and you can paint a silk scarf yourself and enjoy the pleasure of wearing a product of your own creation, or purchase from a master.

An artist draws directly on silk fabric, using a freehand drawing or design taped onto a light table or onto a window glass, with the fabric fastened over that onto the glass. Then the design is carefully copied onto the silk with a pencil, or a fabric painting marker.

Then a painting stretcher frame is used, assembled from a ready-made set of stretcher bars (the same kind used to stretch canvas for an oil painting). Cork strips are glued to one side or to the outside edge of the bars. Pins are placed through the silk fabric to hold one side to the bars.

Gently the silk is stretched to the opposite side, beginning in the middle and working to the corners of the opposite side. At that point the two remaining sides are anchored with pins and the fabric is gently stretched while it is pulled slightly outward until the whole scarf piece is anchored.

Then the pencil marks are covered with a Resist (product designed to resist the paint, leaving the silk its natural color), using a small fine paint brush or tube or squeeze bottle with a very fine tip. The artist carefully joins all lines to adjoining lines so paint colors will not seep from one section into another one. Once the resist has dried, the design is painted.

Paint is added to sections while the silk is dry, for hard-edged sharp colors, or to wet or partially-wetted areas for a watercolor style.

Once dry the paint is fixed to set it, for permanence. According to the method used, and the painter's intention, the scarf will be washable or will require Dry Cleaning.

Painting With Dye

Color by Design shows you how to dye cottons and silks in an incredible range of colors and patterns--without changing the feel of your fabric. Using every tool imaginable--from brushes, sponges, stamps, and blocks to rollers, sprays, silk screens, and more--you will discover an endless array of techniques. Right away you will be able to create your own distinctive marks and colors, and with practice, you will create intricate designs with confidence and spontaneity.

*.....Color by Design offers:

*.....48 exercises with crystal-clear directions, step by step

*.....Recipes that can be prepared ahead and instructions to store them

*.....More than 120 color photos of sensational fabrics, with how-to captions

*.....Information and options for more experienced dyers

*.....Special chapters on water-soluble resists and on dyeing blacks

Plunge into the Fun With This Kit - play like a kid and you may get hooked

ALEX Toys Silk Scarf Painting Kit - 45" Silk Scarf and 28" Silk Bandana
ALEX Toys Silk Scarf Painting Kit - 45" Silk Scarf and 28" Silk Bandana

Explore the craft of painting on silk scarves without making the investment. This kit is designed for anyone old enough to read and hold a paintbrush, and the good sense to protect the painting area. I dropped a whole tray full of dye pots right onto my carpet - thankfully it was due to be replaced the next year, but I had to cover the marks with a new rug.

You get two scarves on which to create your gorgeous silk drawings. Use Have a blast painting, blending, dabbing, and sprinkling, to make your own unique scarf and bandana! This awesome kit includes a 45" silk scarf, 28" silk bandana, 3 silk dyes (red, blue, yellow), mixing palette, 3 bamboo brushes, chunky salt, eye dropper, rubber gloves, and instructions with 3 cool silk painting techniques. This award winning kit is fun and lets kids make beautiful creations that they are sure to be proud of giving or wearing.


Silk Scarf Painter Creates a Stunning Flower - right before your eyes!

She used a mask to define iris' petals and stem, then adds dyes inside the shapes. Stunning. Enjoy!

Try Your Own Handpainting

Silk Painting for Beginners
Silk Painting for Beginners

All you need to know to experience silk painting first hand. This is a compelling book full of techniques and little secrets. Once you have painted your own silk scarf you will either take off on your own, or bring a new found sense of appreciation to your silk scarf buying and selection.


Ancient Chinese Developed Silk Thread

Silk comes from nature, from silk worms

Luxurious silk fibers and fabrics have humble beginnings. The great majority of the four types of silk: mulberry, tasar, eri, and muga, come from the well developed Indian silk industry.

The mulberry feeding moth larvae reach 2 to three inches in length, while the adult moth is generally 1/2" long, with females even smaller. Silk worms produce protein substance threads out of their glands through openings called spinnerets, located under their lower lips. These filaments are produced in the process of making the worms' cocoons.

In only a short month after hatching they reach maturity, and the worms will spin their own protective cocoons. Those cocoons are removed from the worms and plunged into a tub of warm water. After the thread has absorbed enough water to make it more pliable it is unwound and rewound on a spool.

The wild variety of silk is colored by the worm's diet, whatever it munches on in its natural environment. Whatever the worm eats affects the color of the filaments, generally white, yellow or green. The threads vary in thickness and smoothness.

The most delicate and prized silks come from cultivated silk, sometimes called mulberry silk. This type of silk has uniform fibers, longer than wild silk, and stronger too, averaging 1/1200" in diameter, and up to 4,000' long.

The fine filament comes from a tiny 1-1/2" length cocoon from which the chrysalis is sacrificed. The entire thread is spun into one continuous figure eight skein, and eventually a few strands, or up to 100, are joined together and wound on spools. from

Appreciation for Hand Painting on Silk - For the student and the afficianado

Silk Painting for Fashion and Fine Art: "Techniques for Making Ties, Scarves, Dresses, Decorative Pillows and Fine Art Paintings" (Practical Craft Books)
Silk Painting for Fashion and Fine Art: "Techniques for Making Ties, Scarves, Dresses, Decorative Pillows and Fine Art Paintings" (Practical Craft Books)

"Techniques for Making Ties, Scarves, Dresses, Decorative Pillows and Fine Art P aintings" (Practical Craft Books)" by Susan Louise Moyer. This is the second of Moyer's two books on the art of silk painting. Incredible illustrations of silk painting techniques.


Scarf-wearing Tutorial from Experts - how-to-fold - how-to-tie - how to wrap

Handpainted by Designers

Add the glorious feel of a silk scarf to your Summer wardrobe.

See How Easy It Is to Tie Scarves With Flair!

It always helps to see a diagram you can follow to practice wrapping and tying scarves in so many ways. Greatest Look's Fashion & Beauty Advice will show you simple diagrams for tying 14 chic styles of scarf wearing.

Story of Grandma's Hermes Scarf Legacy - ArtsySilkScarves

Select Your Own Hermes Classic Silk Scarf

The Hermes Scarf: History & Mystique
The Hermes Scarf: History & Mystique

Luxuriate in the vision of gorgeous and glamorous Hermes Scarves in this lovely coffee table tome.

Le Carre Hermes; Having Fun with Your Hermes Scarf
Le Carre Hermes; Having Fun with Your Hermes Scarf

Every lady will benefit from learning to wear her Hermes Scarf with panache.


Luscious Scarves for Fashionistas

My first Lens is ChemoWraps (below in My Lenses list).

When it was full to overflowing I created this Lens, complete with wonderful scarf pins and brooches that work well for anchoring special wraps and ties.

This special Lens is full of more scarves. Get all the varieties you need for every purpose. It has outstanding video tutorials, including: 'Rosie the Riveter' Hairdo Tutorial!

Comments & Suggestions - please share your thoughts and links

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    • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @BritFlorida: Thanks so much. It's interesting to see the effects of paint and dye on fabric so I hope your granddaughter has lots of fun with this craft.

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      What a lovely idea. I've always loved the art scarves that I've seen for sale on the internet but I never thought of creating my own. The kits are a great idea for the beginner. I think I might try this with my artistically inclined granddaughter.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      So beautiful. I think it would be fun to make your own.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 

      6 years ago from Concord VA

      I never knew you could buy hand painted scarves or even paint them yourself! Amazing! And, they're so beautiful!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I think these are beautiful and the links you've got are very helpful. It always seemed complicated to secure them without being tight...losing the "flow" from the beautiful silk. Painting them seems like a wonderful hobby!

    • profile image

      Deadicated LM 

      6 years ago

      You are a very talented lady, I enjoy your art and writing very much.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      7 years ago from UK

      What lovely silk scarves and it's wonderful to have a unique item that you can wear.

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 

      7 years ago from London

      There's nothing like a floaty shawl / scarf to make me feel a little more elegant after I've scrubbed off the dirt from my garden. I like the idea of trying my hand at painting one now, having seen your lens. Thanks for a lovely half hour browsing and learning.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      7 years ago

      Very beautiful wearable art ... you are quite talented.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      I love silk scarves and wish my budget allowed for more of these. Since I live mostly in shorts and golf shirts, guess there isn't a real need for more. Sigh...

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 

      7 years ago from West Virginia

      Lovely scarves. A lovely way to wear art.

    • Louis Wery profile image

      Louis Wery 

      8 years ago from Sarasota, Florida USA

      Very interesting to learn how these beautiful scarves are painted. They truly count as works of art!


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