Painted silk banners are one of the things I do in the SCA. This past weekend there was an SCA event where there were four elevations, and I made banners for three of the four.
Back in the summer, I made this banner for Oribe Tsukime. One cool thing about this banner is that I painted the design on in water-based resist, then painted purple around it. Normally, I would start with purple fabric and paint the design on in white, or do a gutta resist around the design and flood the outside area with color, but the detail on the iris was too fine for that method.
For these two banners, I was able to use the normal method of applying a black gutta resist and fill the interiors of the designs with paint. Doing the layout and resist for the gurges on Sumayya’s banner was quite a lot of work, but I like how it came out. Thank you Markus for registering a design that was significantly less work to paint than most people’s. Hara did the edging and the braids for these two banners, so I could focus on other projects.
More catching up on projects I did months ago, here’s a banner I made for my friend Kieran MacRae. He changed his heraldry recently, and needed to rebuild his stock of tabards and banners from scratch. I decided to pitch in because I could.
The fabric is some white linen I had in stock. The color is all “textile color” paint, which is more like a liquid pigment than the paint I normally use on linen. It soaks in and doesn’t change the hand of the fabric as much. It only works well on light fabric, though.
I actually completed this banner back in June and gave it to her at Pennsic in August, but I never posted about it. Maybe I didn’t want to spoil the surprise before, and then forgot to post after? Anyway, my friend Shirin al-Susiyya was being elevated to the Order of the Laurel back in May, so I decided to make a banner for her as a gift.
The fabric is some nice navy blue raw silk. The paints are acrylic fabric paints. It took me a little longer than I was hoping, so it wasn’t finished in time for her elevation, but she has it now. Some words on process:
A good way to get repeatable complex shapes (like heraldic animals) if you are bad at freehand art (like I am) is to print out a picture of the shape at the exact size you want it. Then, cut around the outside of the template, place it where you want the shape, and trace around the outside with chalk.
Fill in the basic shape with a coat or two of paint, then cut the template apart so you can use the pieces to trace out the interior lines in pencil. You can probably freehand some of the smaller details, but sometimes I get pretty small with my template pieces.
Then, use a fine brush and some black paint to outline the shape and ink the interior lines.
I’ve used this method a bunch of times, and it really produces good results for me. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting the paint!
It’s 15 inches wide and 6 feet long of cotton duck fabric in this wonderful deep-yellow color. The black parts of the design are painted on with Jacquard Textile Color, with details on the bunny in gold Jacquard Neopaque fabric paint. The textile color is a really thick pigment type paint, that doesn’t forma film the way the acrylic Neopaque does.
I made a simple 8-strand suspensory braid in some polyester yarn, so that I won’t have to worry about it, either.