Tag: silk painting

21 Mar

Rose Antique and Burgundy Kimono

Silk and Satin Kimono Dress ' ROSE ANTIQUE'

Patchwork features hand painted habotai silk top and lower ahimsa silk painted patchwork


Patchworks created over burgundy polyester satine shirt/nightshirt which forms lining.  Existing collar and button welt are utilised on the outside, while patchworks are created exactly to fit over shirt shape.  The burgundy satine has a pink rose print which top fabrics coordinate with.  Sleeves have been extended some inches, with darker purple Ahimsa silk borders left over from a previously logwood-dyed silk.  Two different silk painting pieces were created to coordinate with all chosen fabrics.   Loose size fits up to 42" bust.  Model is average size.

Silk Painting (top):  Comfrey dyed Habotai silk with hand painted Roses over pale soya wax resist, Celtic Triskels and red motifs from one of the prints.  The cream silk looks antique in tone when laid over the darker burgundy.

Silk Painting (hem):  Hawthorn dyed Ahimsa silk with bundle dyed texture of Sycamore leaves, then hand painted over with leaf outlines and roses, with painted motifs copied from a coordinate.   Silk painting method below...


LEFT Centre:  Triskeles and Roses on Habotai silk. 

 RIGHT Left: Sycamore leaves and Roses on Ahimsa silk.

COLLAR:  Utilised from lining shirt. The outside of the shirt becomes the inside lining of Kimono.  BACK:  Burgundy colour scheme echoed in intricate centre print on voile.

Side Views

Sleeves are extended from underlying burgundy shirt to create 'kimono' style.  Dark purple remnant of a silk painting forms wide extended border.  Lined with colour coordinating viscose in lilac cloud print.  The original outline of the shirt tail slits is followed.


ROSE ANTIQUE BURGUNDY KIMONO available £160.00 - Direct from maker.  (new purchasing coming soon...)

FRONT BUTTONING - Upper - Middle - Lower    BUTTONS - Heart shaped painted wood.

SLEEVES  -  Lining is viscose which extends to outer sleeve to form a border with dark purple, logwood-dyed, Ahimsa painted silk patchwork.

HEM BOTTOM LAYER - Original curved slit outlines followed of underlying burgundy shirt (as lining)

Techniques used in Silk Painting preparations

SOYA WAX RESIST:  My own photos were used, all enlarged to similar size, to make paper stencil cut-outs, for comfrey-soy-waxed-roses.  Rose petal areas were roughly painted in hot soya wax.  When wax was well set, the silk was placed in a cold comfrey dye bath, which showed cracking of wax after immersion, so I squeezed the roses slightly around a centre point, which produced the cracks as lines from the centre of pale rose shapes.

STEAM PRINTED PETALS and seeds are imprinted by bundle-steam method. Result is a few colour imprints of colour in areas between the roses.  Rose petals shapes were lost by the cracking effect, so they were painted finally with a more stylized curly petals.  Triangle was cut out where something was stained.  This was utilised as neck area on kimono construction.  CONCLUSION:  This technique would be good on darker backgrounds, to be tried!

Sycamore Roses Steam Printed Leaves and Painted Roses on Ahimsa Silk

Sycamore leaf steamed bundle print produced a brown texture, interesting by itself; however for this garment, I added more over painting to match with patchwork fabric designs.  The red  outlines weren't needed; a blurred background to bring out the leaf areas would have sufficed.

02 Mar

Silk Painting dresses Kokopelli and Persian Piri

Two dresses featuring silk paintings of mythical figures from two different cultures.  Piri from Persian art meaning beautiful and graceful girl, or supernatural being similar to angels.   Kokopelli the flute playing seed spreader from southwestern Native Americas.

Persian Piri - Dress with 'Piri' feature silk painting

We get our word fairy from peri/feri winged spirit in Persian mythology. Fairy comes to us from Arabic which has no 'p'.

Dress modelled at Exeter Cathedral Green Craft Fair before crimson sash was added.  The sash echoes the sash in the painting. Dress began life as a short top without sleeves, collar, or lower frills: from an earlier created range with the Piri silk painting rectangles. A deep teal blue version was sold.  After finding the yellow ocre lace blouse in exact colour match; the collar, sleeves and frill were added.  The lower cotton abstract print frill was also added; which links to the Piri colours and gives a weight to the dress.

   PERSIAN PIRI available direct from maker: £85.00 - (new purchasing coming soon...)

Kokopelli - flute player features in silk painting with feathers, hand and spirals

Motif outlines were made with wax batik technique. Melted wax applied with a tjang gives a very fluid line and must be moved rapidly before wax cools, or causes blobs.  The feathers are outlined in nomal gutta resist for silk.

After applying dye, silk is steamed, and washed to remove any wax or other gutta resist paste used in the outlines.  Embroidery is used to give definition to motifs.

Habotai silk stretched on a frame.  Motifs of feathers, spirals, Kokopelli flute player, hand outlines. Resist outlines stop dye from spreading when applied.

Predominantly Kokopelli as a ‘fertility deity’ is a bearer of seeds and the flute could have been used to help the plants grow with music, or simply announce his coming.  Its quite likely such characters travelled for trade through South America and North America, as is believed from the rock petroglyphs.  Images show either head feathers, or antennae; some with balls on the end, which almost look like a map to the stars; which might indicate planting time, as recognised by star positions.

     Kokopelli (koh-koh-pell-ee) is a deity and symbol of fertility recognized by several Native American groups in the Southwestern part of the country. Like other fertility gods, Kokopelli is known to preside over both agriculture and childbirth….survived from the ancient Anasazi    Indian mythology. Kokopelli is also a prominent character in Hopi legends.

A Native American video explanation of how Kokopelli as a man, not a god, brings all the seeds from the previous world. The ‘flute’ maybe a medicine pipe.  He could be a simple seed seller, or it could even refer to past colonisation of earth.

   KOKOPELLI is available.  £85.00 Direct from maker.  (new purchasing coming soon...)

11 Feb

Medicine Wheel Silk Painting

MEDICINE WHEEL design on 3 garments 

Silk painted:  Medicine Wheel Sundress - Medicine Wheel Mini-Kimono

Printed and embroideredMedicine Wheel print on dress 'Desert Walk' and Dress 'Champagne'


Physical - Emotional - Mental - Spiritual

The four aspects written in my painting's 4 quarters - Native American teacher explains the Four Worlds and the underlying meaning of '4' as a repetitive sacred number theme. There are also four basic elements of earth, air, fire, water.   The geometric embroidered sigil symbols are from a website; and represent metaphysical states.

Sundress Making

Sundress is built around the central silk panel, on tailor's dummy.  First attach strips to silk painting and band above bust, joined under arms.   Side flounces are a useful idea for fuller hips. Attach to side panels. (See pattern shape here

Back strips are created fitted to back, with flare vents below waist for movement and design interest. Back buttons for a tighter waist fit.

Machine embroidery used on the symbols.

SUNDRESS MEDICINE WHEEL available: £90.00 Direct from maker.  (new purchasing coming soon...)

Summer Kimono Jacket in patchwork silks

Medicine Wheel Kimono Making

  • Fabrics came from two dresses with interesting border prints: dark brown viscose with large pale green circles, and pale blue and brown silk print with circular border motifs positioned for sleeve edging.
  • A blue/gold tartan was chosen as a highlight colour, by using blue/gold patch to top section of collar and lower down.
  • Kimono type collar is created by wide double strip sewn to neck and front edgings.  Using a seam join at back neck, the best shape can be created to fit neck well, by shaping at an angle on a model or dummy.  For a fold-over collar, upper part needs to be wider (shape seam wider), or use back section cut on bias (across the grain, for stretch).

Making - Sleeves

  • Sleeves are simply the gaps left at the body fabric rectangle edges, left undone (seen at shoulders on dummy).
  • A four-inch strip of the blue/gold tartan was inserted below armhole space for better shaped fit. Strip needs tapering for about 4-6 inches up to sleeve edge opening.
  • A bright blue turquoise fabric was chosen for inside the sleeves, as decorative contrast and when sleeves are rolled up.
  • Narrow bows were already on the fabric used so was left in situ on the sleeve edge.
  • If sleeves are long, then turn-ups are useful using an inside cotton fabric to hold them in place well.
  • Design washed out paler than planned after steaming too long, so machine stitching is used to highlight outlines.

Kimono happy

Silk kimono sold to Jacqui when my garments were sold in local organic fabrics shop.

Length appears shorter on a taller woman than when fitted on dummy during making.  Photo shows how the loose kimono is suitable over other shirts and T-shirts and so looks good on any size.

The silk painting is on her left side, out of view.

Pocket placed over contrasting brown patched piece is a good distinctive decoration.

(shop owner's photo). 

Medicine Wheel  on linen and cotton dress Desert Walk (Sold)

This version of 'Medicine Wheel' was the result of test sample prints at the Double Elephant Print workshop for Mac design 'silk screen' printing. I used my photographs of other 'Medicine Wheel' designs, amalgamated, but there was only two 'screens' (polyester printing screens) each, so the result only shows two of the colour areas.  However, the abstract quality is interesting.  This was a quick way of getting many designs on white, grey, and beige linen and cotton samples.  This applied panel has two prints one above the other over a beige finely striped cotton, which aided the textural background.  Print ink available was not suitable for silk.

Buyer Story:  The craft fair was a washout on a windy and rainy stormy day.  Joce turned up late, from far out of town, after many crafters had left due to bad weather.  I had stayed until the end and was fortunate Joce liked my unique linen printed dress very much.  Its just right for her; the size, style and colour. She was very pleased with her original find on its first display show.

I have several samples remaining of this batch printed 'Medicine Wheel' design on cream and grey, and another dress 'Desert Flare' (not featured).  Also seen nicely on white linen in 'Opaline Frolic'.

'Making' images to be uploaded here.

'Medicine Wheel' print on Dress CHAMPAGNE (available)

Dress features two 'Medicine Wheel' prints grey-on-grey either side of front with embroidered central symbols.  Existing fitted bodice top was the inspiration, cut from a dress, preserving champagne satin frills.  Black and cream fabrics coordinate with the fine cream and black lines in ridged top.  Black viscose utilises an existing dress frill for interesting positioning.

Background image is from a range of small murals featuring Peruvian plant spirits painted in the tropical biome of Eden Project, Cornwall. Bromeliad Colita de Gavilan (Billbergia sp.) is depicted as the headdress of the spirit.

22 May

Butterflies and Pansies Silk Dress

Amelia Hoskins / Dress, Silk Painting / / 0 Comments

Pink Champagne Tea Party Dress

Delightful summery patchwork fun tea party dress in pink, plum, lilac and pansy prints.

Pink silk top from a blouse has a bias cut across the weave grain so stretches across variety of bust shapes without other shaping.

Side zip under arm enables dressing.  Shot-taffeta changes from plum pink to lilac in light.

Author's unique Ahimsa silk painted front panel has butterflies and pansies, with centre design of Nigella seed pod and added embroidery.  Old rose lace is appliqued over corners which covers greener palm leaves on silk beneath.  Background of silk painting is logwood dyed batik.


A long pink silk sash was added to dress to fit smaller sizes at the waist: same silk as front bodice.

Fabric Inspirations

Pink/purple shot taffeta and pink silk were the starting inspirations.

Back centre panel is plum silk.  Brown/beige cotton print adds contrast; also multi coloured cotton pansy print.

The old rose lace lightens the effect over the long pink/lilac shot taffeta panels, and links with lace applique on front panel.

Sleeves were an added after thought from fine bundle-dyed silk sample. Lower frills are from a blouse.

Pink silk sash available.

BUTTERFLIES AND PANSIES available £160.00. direct from maker.  (new purchasing coming soon...) 

Fabric Coordinates and Background to Silk Painting

Choosing fabrics to go with the logwood lilac dyed batik Ahimsa silk

Partial painting butterflies and nigella seed pod motifs

Pansy print used to copy pansy colour ideas from

Purple, plum, and pansy print coordinates

 Silk painting with coordinate fabrics

22 May

Hopi Bird Silk Designs Dresses

Amelia Hoskins / Dress, Silk Painting / / 0 Comments

Hopi Bird Silk Designs - Three Dresses

Dresses Available

Dresses with silk painting of stylized Hopi birds

Opaline Rose dress has tier of grey silk painting with Hopi birds and embroidered Native American quotations

Red Hopi dress has two front silk panels with stylized Hopi birds - black/red on white, and red/white on black.  Patchworks uses a red linen skirt and black viscose print in long red dress design.  Vogue pattern used: V1234 by Sandra Betzina.

Grey Hopi pinafore has front silk panel of Hopi Birds with feathers and native American sayings combined with grey cotton panels from a Per Una skirt. Winter thickness. Slim fit: (UK size 8 bust, UK size 10 hips)

All dresses modelled by visiting Spanish teacher guest Marian

Grey Hop Pinafore - Design Motifs

Bird designs are 'curved' exactly as the originals on Hopi pottery, but applied to a two dimensional surface of Habotai silk. Feathers were added around the birds together with a selection of embroidered Native American quotations.

Printing Experiment:  Texture of gold on grey is made using cardboard print block.  Dried corn cob leaves which have fine narrow ridges were glued onto a cereal packet cardboard, varnished (acrylic water based) 3 layers.  The maze leaves fibre formation has quite pronounced ridges, which resulted, when printed, in natural looking printed lines.  I used epaissisant thickener with gutta as a printing paste applied to the cardboard printing block, then pressed on to the silk, and dried before adding the grey dye.  The end result after steaming was mostly a blur, but still provides an interesting painterly background texture, which could be developed with different colour overlays, where overlapping lines would create extra colours.

    Native American Quotations embroidered on silk: 

"Walk lightly in the spring: mother Earth is pregnant" ~ Kiowa

"Plants are our brothers and sisters; they talk to us and if we listen we can hear them" ~ Apache

"After dark all cats are leopards" ~ Zumi

"We will be known forever by the tracks we leave ~ 

Red Hopi Bird silk painting

Dress side panels show red/orange/black on white ground, and red/orange/white on black ground.

The vogue pattern facilitated side extended pieces which hang well in silk. Red linen bodice is made from a skirt.  Polyester red/orange print used for upper and center panel.

I've always been intrigued by Native American culture and found images of abstract bird designs of the Hopi Indians applied to pottery. They reached a height of decorative abstraction, adapting bird designs to fit over any curved pottery surface; a brilliant applied design, in natural pigmented black, terracotta and cream colours.

RED HOPI LINEN DRESS side view. Lower contrast pieces are as the Vogue pattern. Dress is shaped wide at lower hips, then tied to fit hip size. Black sleeves are model's own garment.

RED HOPI LINEN DRESS back view. Beige cotton back piece, with black spotted viscose lower panels.

Hopi Bird silk painted design in russets, orange, pinks with embroidered Native American sayings

Autumn colours pinafore.  - Brown, russet and pinks of silk painted stylized Hopi bird sections.

Coordinating with brown fabrics.  Pattern taken from a dress bought in France. (Sold)

Images copyright Amelia Jane Hoskins Please email for use permission.