Silk Rainbow Ribbons




Introduction: Silk Rainbow Ribbons

About: Hello my name is Jennifer Douglas and I have been a textile artist for the last 25 years since graduating from West Surrey College of Art and Design. I specialise in making and teaching silkpainting and bati...

Dancing Rainbow Ribbons. Here’s how to make them and have some fun with in your garden.

Step 1: What You Will Need..

To make these colourful ribbons I used a long frame the width of my habotai silk , approx.56” (144cm). I ‘m using steam fix silk paints by Dupont, but you could use iron fix for great results too. You will also need 3 point silk pins to attach the silk to the frame, foam brushes are good for applying the dyes. I use an ice cube tray and pipettes to mix paints with. Sea salt and table salt can be applied whilst the dyes are damp for a bit of texture.

Step 2: Cutting, Ironing and Stretching

I’m cutting my ribbons at 2” width and ripping the silk to get easy straight edges, I never use scissors.

Each ribbon gets a quick iron.

Undyed ribbons, must have cut about 16 or so.

Ribbons stretched tightly and ready to paint.

Step 3: Painting With Steam Fix Dyes - Warm Shades

I started painting with the canary yellow mixing with some water as these dyes are strong. These foam brushes make it easy to apply the paint. You can mix paints and canary and camelia gave me an orange shade I liked. Then for some windsor red , first on the left.

The final photograph shows rose, a nice pink colour. I’m working through the warm shades of the rainbow first .

Step 4: Painting With Steam Fix Dyes - Cool Shades

Now for some cooler tones , from right I used myrthe, emerald, indian blue,and bluet. There’s something very therapeutic painting such lovely colours on a sunny day!

Step 5: Using Salt

I felt I needed a few ribbons with some texture, so painted this one with camelia and applied some table salt. Next is fuschia with sea salt. Next is a mixture of windsor and rose. I've experimented with a mix of canary and camelia, giving a lighter orange.

For the cooler shades I've used a mix of jade and vieux bleu, emerald and cote d’azur with salt, all ribbons now painted!!

Step 6: Drying and Unpinning

It's very easy to dry with the sun outside! These will be steam fixed later to fix them permanently.

Once dry I take out the pins.

For steaming method please follow ‘Silk Pansies Scarf ‘ instructions. Iron fix paints just need ironing for 2/3 minutes at this stage, then fixed and washable.

Step 7: Hang Up Your Dancing Rainbow Ribbons!

Find a suitable length of willow and start attaching the ribbons with clothes pegs in their rainbow sequence. I found a lovely spot in my garden to hang the willow and watch the ribbons dance in the wind.

If you would like to find out more about my other silkpainting projects and workshops, please visit my website at:

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    4 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    this is truly amazing, this speaks to me on a new level.


    5 years ago

    This looks great.