Painting A Silk Scarf

On Fridays, Huntington Beach has a small street fair at Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway next to the pier. About 20 vendors sell their art and crafts. Today I noticed a new vendor, Mayu Silk Art, which offers patrons an opportunity to design and paint their own silk scarfs. Intrigued by both the beauty and enjoyment of creating, I jumped in line to paint one.

First, I needed a fashionable white plastic apron and rubber gloves. So chic.

Next, I needed to pick out colors. What was I feeling? Varying shades of blue and a splash of purple.

Picking out colors.

Then it was time to drop paint drops in a particular pattern onto the surface of the water. The spacing and quantity was dependent upon the weight and thickness of each color. Height in dropping was also important to get the right size dots. I was warned not to squeeze the bottle, the drops would come out on their own with very little pressure and we only wanted it to sit on the surface, not drop to the bottom.

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Once all the colors had been placed, it was time to comb along the paint to add to the pattern.

Using a long wooden skewer, I added more marbling and swirls.

Phil, who was guiding me through the process, told me I had two options: Stop here or add more design with some swirls.

“The key is to know when to stop,” he advised.

I wanted a little bit more swirl action going, so I did some curly swirls within the waves as a final touch.

Making Swirls
Making small swirls while Phil checked for bubbles.

Once the paint design was complete, Phil and his coworker set the silk scarf.

As a final touch, they used skewers to push the scarf’s edge into the dye. Then, amazingly,  Phil pulled it out and dropped it into a bucket of cold water and there was no running or dye smearing. Such a simple process!

After dunking the scarf in a cold bath, Phil and I held up the finished product for the crowd that had gathered around us.

Finished Product
Finished product!

While I had fully intended to give it to my sister-in-law as a Christmas gift (she loves scarves), I’m tempted to keep it for myself now that I’m sentimentally attached. What a fun experience with a beautiful outcome!

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