A couple of years ago I wrote a post about a new product called Alcohol Lift Ink that enabled you to stamp an image using alcohol ink (that wasn’t previously possible) to create cards. In this post I show how that technique can be used to decorate a silk scarf using alcohol lift ink to stamp images onto the silk.
Alcohol inks are vibrant, pigment rich inks in an alcohol base and this allows them to be readily manipulated to create permanent designs on non-porous surfaces such as glass and tiles, and more recently a plastic ‘paper’ called Yupo designed for things like card-making. They dry too quickly to be able to use them effectively on porous surfaces like paper and you can’t apply them using rubber stamps like you can with other inks. Alcohol Lift Ink was a game changer: you could apply the alcohol ink to a non-porous surface, stamp a rubber stamp into the alcohol lift ink then into the alcohol ink, and it would lift the alcohol ink and allow you to then stamp the image onto a porous surface such as paper.
While making the cards, I realised that you could use this process to stamp images onto a silk scarf and decided to give it a go. I got my silk scarf from Wah Lee Asian Trading Company: they have various ready-made scarves with sewn edges that provide an inexpensive starting point for your project. I chose my butterfly images and some blues and purples for my colour scheme. You need a non-porous surface such as a tile to act as your mixing palette for the alcohol ink and it pays to have some Stamp Cleaner because you need to clean your stamp completely after each stamp otherwise you will end up with alcohol ink in your otherwise clear Alcohol Lift Ink.
In hindsight I probably should have chosen larger butterfly stamps to make the process quicker but it depends on the look you are wanting to achieve. I also just used a plain white silk scarf but now realise that I could have started with a coloured scarf or could create a coloured background for the silk using something as simple as tissue paper (see post on dyeing silk scarves using tissue paper).
For one of my butterfly images I had too much ink on the stamp and created a dark ‘blob’. I then purposely coloured in a few random other images so that it would look like I had intended it to be that way.