SCARFING is an interesting verb, and although this photo takes me back to the last time I was in Italy, the scarves we’ll discuss today are the pretty sort that lay around one’s neck.

We have painted scarves in previous posts and this week I have yet another idea for you. I know that many of you have taken to ‘scarfing’ a lot. As a matter of fact, I’ve heard rumors that some of you have scarfed so much that it’s become part of your art practice. I feel ya. So, here’s another idea for you:

These free-form flowers are great fun and very easy.


Here’s list of the supplies you’ll need. Although, if you’ve done any of the previous posts you’ll already have the supplies needed.


  • A fabric paint of some sort. I use Dye-na-flo by Jacquard.
  • Silk scarf
  • Brush or two
  • Rubber bands
  • Freezer paper or waxed paper on which to lay the scarf
  • Salt is optional
  • Iron

All of these things can be purchased from Dharma Trading Company. They are my stand by for anything that you might want to do on fabric.

DYE-NA-FLO is actually a fabric paint, not a dye. It can be stroked onto the fabric with a brush. They come in wonderful colors that can be diluted by just adding water. And, best of all, they are heat set by just ironing the scarf or putting it into a hot dryer for about 30 minutes.


Pinch up a bit of the scarf and tie with a rubber band, just like you might do in tie-dye. Then make a few loose folds outward the rubber band ‘center’ into the body of the scarf. MIST the scarf to dampen it.



Touch a bit of Dye-na-Flo Golden Yellow (or other color you want for your center) onto the upper tip of the banded material. This will be the center of your flower.

I like to use two colors for the flower body, rather than just one. In this example, I’ve used violet and cranberry. Touch a bit of color where the Golden Yellow ends and then softly outward between each ‘fold’ – where the scarf touches the freezer paper. The color will run upward a bit, of course, oozing under the silk fibers. So, use just a tiny touch at a time to keep this oozing under control. I began painting with diluted paint, then went back in with just a drop or two of ‘straight from the container’ strength.

TT032916-3     TT032916-4


Now for the background color between the flowers. Again, using two colors is more interesting than only one. I used Turquoise and Azure Blue, both diluted with water. Touching it just beyond the flower, let it ooze outward and soften onto the still damp scarf. You can also spatter the paint, if you wish.

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Be sure that in some places the color goes off the outer edge of the scarf and also lightly touches the edges of the flower in some places. Yes, the color may ooze into the flower and gray its color a little, but it’s okay if that happens.

While color and scarf are still damp, sprinkle salt (I prefer kosher or silk salt because it’s larger than regular table salt) onto the color.

Now for the most difficult part – waiting until it’s totally dry to move it. Everywhere that the scarf is touching the freezer paper, the color will be darker and this in fact help to form the flower petals! You can use a hair dryer, but that cuts short the oozing process of the paint which is quite beautiful.



When dry, press the scarf with as hot of an iron as the fabric will allow. Don’t skimp on this part because this is what sets the paint. I sometimes rinse the scarf in cold water with a bit of fabric softener and iron again.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post. I’ll have yet another scarf idea for you next week.

Thanks so much for reading!

Kathie  xo

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