how to dye silk flowers

How to dye silk flowers: white flowers

dyes 2The 2015 Wedding Season is in full swing. I would not be far off if I suggest that some of you are currently making lots of white flowers. So I thought I would share some tips on how to dye (or not to dye?) the fabric for making white silk flowers.


Your actions will depend on the task in hand. Certainly there are situations when we need to create a white orchid hearbandpure white flower, in  warm white or even in cold bluish white. In this case you just need to choose your fabric right, because different fabrics, although all white can vary in shades. Bleached silks are usually cold white, whilst unbleached tend to be of warm, ivory shades. Simply choose the best suitable fabric for the job and skip the dyeing stage altogether.


white petalsOn the other hand, if you would like to create a more realistic white flower, you will need to use some dyes. Why? Because if you look at the living flowers either in the pictures or fresh in your garden or vase, they are never just white.
Very often the petals are tinted at the base with a choice of colours ranging from light green to yellow to pink etc.

So, to give some depth and dimension to your fabric flower creation I would recommend to dye the petals in their lower part using pale green or yellow-green for a neutral look. I used exactly this principle in my video tutorial when making Camellia japonica corsage. You can also choose other colours like pale pink or soft peach for a more dramatic effect.


Another thing to consider is either colour the rest of the petal with a very diluted green white bride roseyellow to create more of an ivory look of the flower or add some strokes of this colour here and there on the petals using a wide brush. The strokes of dye will not be seen as such but when assembled will let the petals look more realistic than just white pieces of fabric put together. The flower will have a depth to it. This technique works very well with such multipetal flowers like roses, peonies, fantasy poppies etc. So next time you are making a white flower try to add a little bit of colour to it and see the flower coming to life in your hands.

If you happen to own any Japanese flower making books go through them as they often show the process of dyeing in quite a detail. If not we sometimes have an opportunity to offer a limited number of these books on our website. To see what is available at the moment please click here.

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silk leaves for restoration

Handmade silk leaves for restoration of an antique piece

Handmade silk leaves for restoration work


I am sorry I have not posted in weeks. This is all due to a large order of silk leaves. Intrigued? Read on

I have been very busy working away on a pretty big, I would even say a wholesale order: I have been making 300 acer leaves for an unusual customer.

The customer, one of London’s antique dealers, will be using my leaves to restore a spectacular French timepiece featuring moving and chirping birds amongst acer branches.
The antique piece dates back to 1880s, and to say that I was excited that my work would be used to revive such stunning Victorian object is a serious understatement.

All the leaves have been painted by hand. fully lined with an extra layer of silk, hand cut and individually wired.

In the pictures you can see my silk  leaves for restoration and the antique timepiece before the restoration. I must say that the original leaves were not entirely handmade, but rather pressed and had no lining. That is why a lot of them lost their wires and looked pretty sad.
I am hoping to get a picture of a restored piece and as soon as I have it I will share it with you.

Now it is time to think about Christmas designs!

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