Introduction: Gallery Quality Silk Painting Made Easy!

If you love silk painting and you also want to learn how to display your silk painting professionally, read on! I am Sheranda Ann Kumara and I have been painting on silk for 27 years. I teach silk painting and I would love to share with you today, with simply instructions, how to create a gallery-wrapped silk painting! It's easy and fun! The videos of my Italian silk painting student demonstrate the silk painting process. Step 10 explains the technique of 'Gallery-Wrap' framing of your silk painting for a professional look.

Materials List for completing a 17" by 17" Silk Painting (refer to image #1, Step 1):

Dharma Trading Company (

1) Jacquard Starter Silk Painting Kit with Gutta, Dharma Trading Company Stock # JACSS

2) Jacquard Gold Gutta Resist (solvent based), Dharma Trading Company Stock # AGBSG4

3) Silk Tacks, box of 100, Dharma Trading Company Stock # STT

4) Silk measuring 17" by 17". You can buy a men's silk handkerchief (Dharma Trading Company Stock # SS17)

or a minimum of one yard of silk, either Silk Habotai, Silk Crepe de Chine, or Silk Satin.

The weight of the silk is important too. Buy weight 12 mm.

Hardware Store:

5) Junior sized staple gun and JT21 'Arrow' light duty staples, size 1/4"

6) Large plastic mixing bowl for the fixing process done with Jacquard liquid fixative.

7) Household iron and salt from your kitchen.

Art Supply Store:

8) A few watercolor fine art paint brushes, a small round, medium round, and large round.

9) Four 17" standard artist stretcher bars and four 14" stretcher bars.

10) A small piece of quilters batting or white felt, measuring 18" by 18"

11) Artist palette cups or any small plastic cups.

12) Pencil, paper and black Sharpie marker


TIPS to know about before starting:

1) If you prefer to not stain your hands with the dyes use plastic gloves.

2) The Gutta squeeze bottle with metal tip can sometimes clog while you are using it. If this happens stop and place a straight pin for sewing, down the metal tip to clean it out. The Gutta should start flowing again.

3) Protect the floor with a drop-cloth or work outside. Dye stain is permanent and won't come out of the carpet if spilled.

4) Be extra careful not to smear the wet gutta when you're working on the piece. It does not come off. There is no such thing as 'erasing' in silk painting. If the dyes or gutta go where you don't want them to be, you can only try to make in look like you meant it to be that way.

5) Use very simple designs with few straight lines, unless you are very good with a ruler!

6) Sketch out your design with pencil and then outline your sketch with a black Sharpie. That way your linework will show up well while you are tracing it onto the silk with a pencil.

7) The Gutta lines create a dam that stop the liquid dyes. The dyes will sometimes skip over the gutta lines or boundary lines creating errors that cannot be erased. I find that this happens less with with the use of solvent-based Guttas. I don't use water based Guttas because they don't work as well.

8) Your finished silk painting can become a prayer flag, wall-hanging or 'Gallery-Wrapped' stretched painting. If you decide on making it a wall-hanging instead of a 'Gallery-Wrapped' stretched painting then you will NOT need to buy the four 14" stretcher bars, but instead you can buy a wooden dowel to hang the silk on for a wall-hanging.


Follow Easy Steps!

Watch Videos!

Enjoy Silk Painting!

Step 1: Purchasing Your Supplies

Step 2: Attaching the Silk to the Wood Frame.

Step 3: Tracing on Your Design.

Step 4: Applying the Gutta Lines.

Step 5: Careful Application of the Gutta.

Step 6: Let Gutta Lines Dry.

Step 7: Fixing the Dyes

Step 8: Finished Silk Painting of Italian Silk Painting Student

Step 9: Silk Painting Demostration

Step 10: Learning the 'Gallery Wrap' Technique of Framing

By learning the Gallery-Wrapped Technique you will be able to display your silk paintings in galleries or sell them to clients, or you may want to learn the technique just for your own personal enjoyment of displaying your silk paintings in your own home. The major advantage is that you will not need a picture frame. The look is elegant and professional.


To gallery wrap a silk painting you first need to wrap your piece of white quilters batting or white felt around the frame and staple it to the back.Staple the batting taut around the frame. See image.

The next step is to staple the silk painting taut around the frame. This step is a bit more difficult because you have to keep in mind to not distort the image through this process or staple it in such a way that the design looks crooked. Be mindful to keep checking the way it looks while you are stapling. I have had to go back and remove staples and redo. Just be careful not to rip the silk while taking off the staples. I use a serrated steak knife to remove the staples if I need to. Be mindful to fold the corners carefully to create a smooth look on the corners. This will come easy after some practice.

The last step is to attach picture frame wire on the back side of the piece, which can be done by stapling the wire onto the wood frame or you can go to the hardware store and buy a pair of D ring hangers. See image.

Step 11:

For further inspiration please enjoy looking at Sheranda's website!

Step 12: Testimonial of Sheranda's Silk Painting Student

Dyeing for Color Contest

Third Prize in the
Dyeing for Color Contest