Monday, August 27, 2012

Hand painted silk belly dance veils

I've been experimenting with painting big pieces of silk, for use as belly dance veils. These have been 45" x 108". The blanks are available from Dharma Trading Company, in two different weights. The picture above is the 5mm weight. My daughter (there in the picture) says it is light and floaty, very responsive, and moves with the slightest of breeze. That makes it lovely for indoor work, but kind of problematic for outdoor work where there might be some wind. It was also more likely to snag from the little pins when I put in on the frame to paint.

Here it is on the frame, with my very tall son for size reference. I paint it in sections, working from one end of the frame to the other, adding the salt as I go along. I want to make sure the edges are working wet into wet, so I spray it with water as I go. By the time I reach the end of the painting, the beginning end is already quite dry.

Here's the second veil I did, on the floor ready to be rolled up into the paper to go into the steamer to set the dye. This is the more sturdy, 8mm weight fabric. It was easier to deal with on the stretcher frame--I didn't have to be quite so careful with it, as the fabric wasn't quite so delicate.

I had my daughter try this one out too. She said she was fighting the fabric a little bit more than the lighter veil, but that it was easier to deal with when there was a breeze. And she also thought it would be easier to do some of the more challenging veil tricks with this weight. I'd say the 8mm weight would probably work better for those dancers who do outdoor shows.

Given the time and materials involved, the lighter weight veil will sell for $110, and the sturdier one for $120. But unless I get a commission, it will take a little while for these to appear in the Etsy shop. ( Why?

Because I got my order of yarn in today! Time to put away the silk for a bit, and go back to the loom...


  1. Beautiful veils! And fun to see your kids helping you out.

    1. Thank you! I had fun experimenting with the larger size silk, and am blessed to have a family that supports me in my creative meanderings.