Tessa Spanton SWA Artist, tutor, writer


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This is where I write about some of the things that inspire my work,
news of exhibitions and works in progress

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Problems with Water Soluble Outliner/Gutta in Silk Painting


Recently I have had a problem with Pebeo's gold outliner (shown above) coming off at the final washing stage. I have noticed too that other silk painters are posting about it on the internet.

I have used this product for years without a problem. I usually iron fix a silk painting as soon as it is finished then wash it before ironing again and framing. However recently I finished a painting that had taken a long time to do and was not happy to see some of the carefully applied gold lines floating off in the water. This had not happened before. Usually it is the reverse, if a bit of the gold gets on clothing or the wrong part of the work, it is practically impossible to remove.
I rescued the work and reapplied the lines.


On Pebeo's website there is a PDF about the product. It says leave for 2 days after iron fixing before washing. As I have not had this problem before I can only guess that maybe the product has changed. It would be helpful if Pebeo printed this on the tube.

For many years I have used water based outliners ('gutta') for resist lines when painting on silk.
 I have tried lots of different makes. I prefer them to spirit based gutta as they are odourless. The clear water based version can be removed with water whereas the spirit based one is removed by dry cleaning or solvent.

However the water based ones are not without other problems. They are more likely to leak especially when working very wet.
Sometimes there is a small gap in the gutta or the extra wetness starts to dissolve the line and allow colour to seep through.Often though it is just that the silk has become over saturated and over loaded so the colour spills over the line like when you try to carry an overfull teacup.

With some makes the metallic versions keep well in their tubes. Others don't they either become too thick and unusable or they separate in the tube so that when you come to use them a lot of clear liquid oozes out. They can't be stirred when in the tube,  you can try massaging the tube with the lid on but this doesn't usually help much.
I had one tube of Javanna metallic glitter that oozed clear liquid from the first time I used it leaving the metallic bits behind. It never worked properly and was probably past it when I bought it.
On the other hand I found a tube of  AV Vallejo black outliner which I bought about 25 years which is still working fine.

My recommendations

I am currently using Marabu contours and effects. Available from Silkcrafts
I have clear, gold, silver and a metallic glitter which has not separated. It is available in a squeezey bottle. The nozzle produces a fairly thick line so I attach a metal nib with a finer nozzle. The bottle is refillable from a larger container which makes it more economical.

Wax or solvent based gutta work best but both need an extra process to remove.
 I don't use solvent based gutta because of the smell.
I like using beeswax. It flows easily from a tjanting or kiska to give delicate lines or can be brushed, sponged or stamped on. I bought it from the local bee keepers group. Or you can get batik wax online.
Other silk painters speak well of Resistad which is only available mail order from New Zealand. I have some but haven't tried it yet.


Stephanie Guy Fine Art said...

Do you have any favourite brands Tessa? And any that you would avoid?

Colours and Textures said...

Stephie I have just added some more info on this to the post.x

Stephanie Guy Fine Art said...

Thanks for the extra info Tessa, this is a really useful post. I bought some batik wax last summer but haven't had chance to use it yet.

Unknown said...

Hi Tessa. What is the reason for washing your picture if you are going to frame it? I have been just ironing mine and putting them on freezer paper before framing.

Colours and Textures said...

Hi Jo, good question,I wash them if any clear gutta was used as sometimes I use it in parts of the painting even when I use metallic gutta.

Tailoring and Alterations said...

Wish I had read this 24 hours before ..now reapplying all the gutta ��..but a big thank you for sharing

Unknown said...

we use resist outliner diy..glue mixed with....can do coloring outliner..remove outlner with water..