This technique originated in France and continues to be popular in surrounding European countries. To begin the process, a drawing is done on paper, to scale. White or lightly coloured silk is placed over the drawing and is traced onto the silk with a resist called “gutta”. The resist is applied with a squeeze bottle that has a special nib attached for controlling the flow of the gutta.
Once the resist is dry, the fabric is suspended in a frame. The French dyes, especially made for silk fibres, are painted on with brushes. They are very liquid in form, flowing and bleeding up to the resist lines, mixing and reacting with each other in various ways, depending on the particular technique used. The silk will then require a two to four hour steaming process in order to make the colour permanent. After steaming, the fabric is washed by hand to remove any excess dye particles that have not adhered to the silk. Usually, the silk will be ironed dry, and then it is finally ready to finish into the desired form!