How to Stretch Silk for Painting Using Hariki and Shinshi

Links mentioned in video:

John Marshall’s website:

How to Clip A Scarf Into A Frame for Silk Painting


There are many ways to stretch a scarf for silk painting. The object is to gently stretch it taut into a frame and lay it flat. That will give it stability while you work and keep it from sagging and touching your table top. The dye will be able to penetrate underneath the clips so you’ll have even dyeing all around the edges, and the scarf won’t touch the stretcher bars so no dye gets transferred.

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How to Stretch Silk for Painting

Before you paint on silk, it must be gently stretched and attached to a frame.  It’s then supported horizontally; most people put it on a table or another kind of support like sawhorses.  There are many different types of frames for silk painting; you can do some exploring on the internet.  If you’d like to see how to make my homemade adjustable stretcher bars (the ones used in this video) refer back to my blog “Making and Using an Adjustable Silk Painting Frame”.

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Making and Assembling an Adjustable Silk Painting Frame

Before I discovered these adjustable silk painting frames, I used to use canvas stretcher bars.  I had four in every size… and a pile of “mayhem” in the corner of my studio closet (ugh!).  Now I just have a few of these slim adjustable strips that fit neatly into my silk painting bench (see my March 2014 video blog, “The Silk Painting Studio Storage”), and they’ll hold just about any size silk I choose to paint (for really large pieces, there are other stretching methods… but that’s another blog for another month!).

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