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Using outliner or gutta in Silk Painting


The purpose of outliner or gutta resist, is to create a boundary around part of an image or pattern so that the silk paint or dye will not run beyond that boundary.

The Javana outliner used in this image has been applied to the silk fabric by following the purple lines drawn with the autofade pen. The pipette has a small applicator and fine lines can be achieved with practice.

The object is to apply a consistent line of outliner by squeezing the pipette and ensuring enough of the outliner is released to soak through the fabric and create the barrier.

Outline of butterfly on silk fabric


This example shows black coloured outliner which, like the silk paints, will become permanent and washable on fabric once heat set with an iron.

The application of the outliner was slightly hurried and not very well controlled. This may be an effect which you are trying to achieve.  Note how important it is to compete outlines around the elements of the design to create a 'container' for the silk paint. 

To get a tidier outline, squeeze the tube slightly and wipe away any blobs just before pressing the nozzle to the fabric. Be confident and try to complete a section in one go.

Outliner is applied ready for painting the silk fabric


Surprisingly, the messy outline looks more acceptable now it has been painted. The outline has prevented the bold Deka Silk colours from running into each other. If the outlines had not been complete, or if the outliner had not fully penetrated through the fabric, the paint colours would have seeped out and blended with each other. 

Painted silk fabric using outliner


A black outliner has been used to draw three leaves and allowed to dry. Deka Silk Azure was painted in the leaves and while still wet, Yellow was painted onto the fabric.  As the two colours were still wet, they have merged together to create this lovely effect.

Leaves painted on silk fabric

Artist Katherine Barney first dyed here silk yellow and then applied clear gutta outliner to create her design.  She then painted in the leaves and flowers before painting the area beyond these elements with red dye. When the red dye was still wet, she applied water which pushed the colour around to make a golden yellow background and a red halo around the petals and leaves.

Silk painting created with H Dupont Classique silk dyes
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