Essex Guild of Silk Painters
Essex Guild of Silk Painters

Useful information

We have some suggestions for the basic equipment members need to obtain for silk painting, and some useful suppliers where some of these can be purchased. 

Useful kit/equipment

We suggest the following items for beginner members: however for some meetings the Guild can provide materials so you do not need to buy all this before starting!

* a notebook/sketchbook for recording what you are doing, useful tips etc

* various size paintbrushes- start with a few artist ones from fine to large, but you may find later that household sizes and foam brushes are useful for large area work; they do not have to be top quality and look for ones being sold off cheap!

* small bottles of basic colours in iron-fix paints (cyan, yellow, magenta, and black will mix to make almost all colours. You may also like to have a good mid blue, bright green, red and purple, and a mid or light grey. There are many colours available beyond this!)

* small bottles of basic colours in steam-fix dye (as above)

* some small silk painting frames -from about 6"/15cm sqaure to 18"/45cm is good- you can buy collpasible/modular ones or use old painting frames or old printed canvas frames form the charity shop

* 3-pronged silk pins to attach the silk to the frame

* a couple of basic gutta colours- gold, silver and clear are useful (water-based)

* rags and/or kitchen roll for wiping brushes and spills

* palettes for holding & mixing paint/dye- hard ice-cube trays or egg trays work very well too!

* water pots (yoghurt pots are good and jar lids are also good for mixing)

* masking tape to protect your frames from the dye

* plastic sheet to protect the table- old shower curtain, plastic tablecloths, large bin bags or charity bags all work well, or decorators plastic roll!

* plastic apron and rubber or thin PVC/latex gloves to protect you


More optional items for advanced work:

* some members keep a few bits of silk or ready made scarves to hand

* air/UV/washable sewing marker pens or pencils can be helpful to mark out designs

* tape measure or rulers can help, and sharp scissors

* folder for handouts given during lessons/meetings

* white vinegar, clingfilm and a micowaveable pot with lid are useful

* an old iron, and an electric (veg) steamer or hob-top steaming pot is useful for setting work at home

* old newspapers (more than 2 weeks old) are vital for steaming, and wide foil

* hobby melting dish, electric wok or specialist wax melting pot for batik

* cheap hog bruches or household paint brushes for applying wax

* tjantings and heat proof stamps (tjaps) for fine lines and block wax patterns in batik

* paraffin, beeswax or soywax for batik work



We use a number of shops and online suppliers to buy equipment and materials. These are just some of the ones we have found helpful. Please note- some only deal with large orders!

Rainbow Silks

Online and physical shop in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire selling silk fabric, ready made items, dyes and paints, equipment and many other craft items.



Online trade supplier of silk fabric and related items like dyes, only deals with large orders but you can apply for an account if doing sufficiently large orders/selling as an artisan. 



Online seller of all things silk-painting related, including frames and other equipment and a few other items. 



Seller of good quality waxes (useful for batik!) in sensible quantities. Sells online here and via eBay.


The Silk Route

Online seller based in Surrey, specialising in silk fabrics including some more specialist ones and heavy weaves. Coloured and undyed fabrics, also helpful advice by email and sells samples and small amounts.


Geoff's Remnant Shop

Physical shop only, in Brentwood Essex- see their webpage for details. Open only 3 days a week (closed lunchtimes), but good prices and sells lightweight silk fabric plus lots of other useful fabrics, haberdashery and things for textile work and turning silk into useable items.


The Cheap Shop

A deceptive Aladdin's cave of a shop (worth a visit just for the experience!) in Tiptree, Essex, with lots of different hobby and craft items, sells fabrics and haberdashery including some silk. Also some online products/services here. 


Crafty Arts

General art store and online seller in Romford. Sometimes has silk-painitng supplies but more usually useful for general kit like brushes.


The Range

Our members use the Romford one quite a lot but it's a national chain too. A large store selling home goods and art/craft supplies amongst other things. Sometimes has useful items for silk painting, normally has general items like brushes etc. See their craft section here. Also sells online.


The Works

Another national chain with various outlets- sells remaindered books and art/craft supplies, not specialists in silk but often has useful items and cheap brushes etc. See here for their craft section and they also sell online.



For images from these and other events please see the Gallery on the Past Events page.

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© Essex Guild of Silk Painters 2017