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The known production of silk started 3500 years ago but was kept a well guarded secret for nearly two thousand years. History of painting the silk is almost as old but what techniques and processes were used is not known.

The colorist and resist techniques were developed to adorn fabrics made of natural fibers more than 2000 years ago. The batik technique (wax resist) was developed in India and spread around Far East. By the fourth century Indonesia became the center of batik industry (wax resist).
The technique most commonly used now is called GUTTA. Although based on the ancient resist technique, it is a relatively recent development. The name GUTTA comes from the substance called Gutta that is used as a linear barrier in painting silk and cotton. It is obtained from Pallaquium tree, which is native to Indonesia and grows naturally. (The substance is called Gutta-Percha in Indonesian language)

The art of hand painting silk using Gutta was brought to Europe by the members of Czar’s family who had fled to Paris after the Bolshevik revolution. Paris became a center of silk painting and the French transformed this art into a very profitable industry using Gutta-Serti technique. The art spread to other parts of Western Europe including Italy and Belgium that became leaders in silk industry.

Gutta-Serti technique made its way to the North American Continent in the 1970s and was adopted by surface design and textile industry as they were able to develop designs on silk using this technique and print those designs on fabric for commercial production.

For more information and Hand Painted Silk Apparel visit:


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