If you are interested in silk dye painting classes, please email me at and put "Silk Class" in the subject line. Currently I am teaching at my studio at 2970 Peachtree Road Ste 160.

My silk website is:
Hellenne Vermillion
son's childhood drawing enlarged on copy
machine and transferred to silk

I teach silk dye painting using acid dyes and 100% silk fabric. My main focus is on working with resist lines. Silk pieces are steam set, then washed and rinsed and ironed for permanency.

I have a two hour introductory A Taste of Silk Painting class, a four hour introductory A Taste of Silk Painting Class, and a two session Professional Level Workshop available at the moment with 1-3 students at a time.
Wisteria by Hellenne Vermillion

Special workshops will be offered at other times focus on specific techniques: wax resist, screen printing, shibori, use of non flowing materials, and discharging. These are one or two day workshops.


Here is the supply list. Please keep in mind that may take up to a week for delivery. And the Resistad might take up to two weeks. Order early please. If your order has not arrived in time for class, you can use some of my supplies for a nominal fee until your supplies arrive.

Most supplies can be ordered from and some supplies can be found at Binder's Art Supply on Piedmont Road in Buckhead in the Kroger (limelight Kroger) shopping center. 
The Red Label Jacquard dyes at Binders tend to come in the largest sized bottles running about $44 unless you sign up and become a preferred customer. Then the cost is lower. 

The smaller 8oz bottles from Binders run about $10/bottle. Their stock is limited so check early. Only purchase the basic four colors. 

For those interested in using scarf blanks:
PVC plastic pipes can be purchased at places like Home Depot and Lowes.

scarf by Hellenne Vermillion

At least a dozen 11"x60" silk habotai or flat crepe scarves from dharmatrading, one or more 11"x 60" crepe de chine scarf, one or more 11" x 60" chiffon scarf.  ( These will fit your PVC pipe frames (instructions below).

Anything larger than 11" x 60," please adjust the frame size. For painting in class, we need to keep the scarves at 11"x60" due to space restrictions.

by Hellenne Vermillion

If you do not wish to work with scarf blanks, please purchase 10mm habotai or flat crepe 4 yards,  10mm crepe de chine silk 1 yard, 10 mm chiffon 1 yard  any width (

Then decide what size pieces you would like to work with, such as 18"x18" and bring a frame for it. You can use wooden stretcher bars and push pins to secure your silk to the frame. Or pvc pipes cut to the size you wish to work with and add tape and silk pins to secure the silk.
simple stretcher bars frame and silk held by pushpins

Masking tape and silk pins attaching silk fabric to pvc pipe frame
(courtesy of Karen B)

Four dye colors.
The Jacquard Red Label brand is economical and recommended when first learning,

however the Tinfix
and Dupont brands give a more intense color and also seem to steam fix better than the Jacquard brand. There is less excess dye runoff with these brands. Get their primary colors (it is noted on their color chart list).

For learning purposes you may want to stay with the Jacquard Red Label due to the cost.
Please DO NOT get the Jacquard Green Label brand; it is a diluted dye and will not give as intense a color as the RED LABLE Jacquard dyes.

mixing chart

You need CYAN (primary blue), MAGENTA, YELLOW and BLACK (which can be in a smaller amount than the others.)

These four dyes will create every color. Primary colors in different brands will differ, but the goal is to learn to mix colors with whatever primaries you have. If you use premixed colors, sometimes the company changes the formula and the color will not be the same. Therefore if you learn to mix your own colors, you will always be able to get the color you want.
white ice cube tray, brushes, dyes, eye dropper, dispenser bottles
You will need a big fat brush, a medium sized brush (not pictured above), and a small brush for tiny spaces.
Brushes should be those that are normally used for water colors, not the super cheap or super expensive ones. Those in the $3-$5 range, preferably Loews Cornell white nylon rounds work best. We want a brush that holds water but has some stiffness when we "scrub" the dyes on silk. Soft brushes don't do the scrubbing very well. Get tiny size (2), medium sizes (6-10), and also any kind of large mop or oval brush about 3/4" - 1" wide to cover large areas. The brush should hold water, be a tad bit firm, and yet flexible. Do not get bristle brushes for oil paints.

scarves by Hellenne Vermillion

We are no longer using solvent based gutta resist for safety reasons and because dry cleaners have switched to safer chemicals which doesn't remove the rubber resist lines.

Instead we are using a water based resist called Resistad ordered from John Mitchell in New Zealand. You need to email him and order the 250ml medium Resistad. You must tell him MEDIUM Resistad.The total cost should be around $48 with shipping and it will take about a week or longer to get to the States.  Please email him so he can email you back an invoice;  and you can pay using Paypal or discuss payment methods with him. His website is:

DO NOT buy black or metallic solvent based resists. They are gummy.
by Hellenne Vermillion

Dispenser bottles with tips. You can get a package of 3 with size #5, #7, and #9 tips. Or buy them individually with #5 tips. Get at least 3 bottles with tips.  Extra bottles will be useful, too.

by Hellenne Vermillion

Chinese Suspension Hooks 24 count pack (two packs is better) if you are doing scarves. Push pins or tacks if you are doing just yardage pieces.

Rubber bands to go with the hooks. #33 rubber bands from Staples or any office supply

chiffon scarf by Susan Big
Four plastic waste baskets, small kind about 12" tall to prop up your frame. See photo on the left. The buckets need to be tall enough to place our ice cube trays, etc. underneath.

A white ice cube tray. White so we can see the color of the dyes. Don't get blue ice cube trays.

Rolls and rolls of paper towels. And more rolls of paper towels.

Other supplies you may need will be discussed in class. These will be items for  the steaming process, etc. However, you will need a frame made of PVC pipes. See below:

We will be using PVC pipes 3/4" and the corresponding corner elbow joints to construct a lightweight and inexpensive frame that will be easy to cut, assemble, and clean.

For the 11"x60" scarves, you will need to purchase 2 ten feet long 3/4" pvc pipes.
Cut each piece 66" long. Either get it cut at the Home Depot or Lowes, or just cut it with a hand saw. Some people buy that special tool for cutting PVC pipes.
You now have two 66" long pieces and two 54" pieces left.
Cut each of these 54" pieces into 18" pieces. Now you have two 18" pieces and two 36" pieces.
Save any leftover pieces for future use to make more frame sizes. You need at least 3" space between the silk edge and the pvc pipe to allow for the suspension hook and elastic.

If you are not using pre-hemmed scarves, then allow about 1 1/2" - 2" of space for the masking tape space. For different sized scarves, you will need different pvc pipe lengths. Allow 3" of space between scarf edge and pvc for the suspension hook/rubber band combo.

You will also need to purchase 4 corresponding 3/4" elbow joints. Makes sure you get the right size to fit your pipes.
For scarf frames, we usually don't purchase the t-joints where feet can be attached because we use the trash buckets or other buckets to raise the frame off the table. The tables are only 6' long and the frames usually extend beyond this size, so buckets are used. Any attached feet fall off the table.

The Chinese suspension hooks will be attached with rubber bands which will be attached to the PVC frame. The #33 Rubber Bands work the best.
scarf held with Chinese suspension hooks, rubber bands

Don't forget the proper size corner elbows!

frame setup with upside down trash buckets from the Dollar Store
(scarf by Karen Robbins)


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Heather B. said...

Thank you so much for the detailed instructions to create an inexpensive frame and for useful tools like the Chinese suspension hooks. I love that the frame is able to be broken down when not in use and is light weight. I can't wait to put it into use.