Pens on Silk

Following on from my obsession with Pitt Pens and loving the feel of using them, I want to try to recreate that feeling with fabric. Luckily it’s fairly easy to do with smooth silk and silk painting or fabric markers. Not sure yet how good the results will be but I’m getting there. I was messing around with this stuff on silk which had an anti-diffusant painted on it. Because the silk is a lightweight habutai even when the diffusant had been washed out the amount of paint on the surface (iron-fix) has made it feel like tissue paper which actually helps when wanting to use pens on it afterwards and it doesn’t really matter if softness of the silk has gone as it’s going to be stretched on a canvas anyway.

So I started using a bogstandard fabric marker, you know the type that mums use on their kids coat labels when they are going back to school. Just drawing around stitches to make them look like seeds. I quite like the effect so want to develop that a bit more. Could be interesting! What do you think? The colours of this piece are a bit sombre so I will probably end up embellishing it with some gold, copper and silver to cheer it up a bit. If in doubt get the glitz out! Well, that is my theory anyway!

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Nicky Perryman

Hey, I'm a textile artist based in the UK. I like playing around with fabric paint, stitching both hand and machine embroidery and I have far too many sequins. I'm inspired by nature, its mysteries, subtleties, delights and complexities. The outer natural world has its counterpart in the inner spiritual world and I am also inspired by folklore, poetry, fairytales, stories of long ago when the spirits of nature seemed less shy than they do today, as well as my own shamanic journeys into the dreamland.


  1. Did you try Pitt pens on fabric? Were they wash fast?

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      Hi Arati, pitt pens will probably work on fabric but they are water based and won’t be wash fast.

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      Hi Arati, no Pitt pens won’t be wash fast as they are water based and as far as I know have no binder in to create a permanent colour on fabric.

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