Fall Leaf Scarf

by Deborah Padrick/courtesy of Jacquard Products

A hand-painted fall leaf scarf is a delightful gift, the perfect clothing accessory and very easy to make. I love to take a stroll on a sunny fall afternoon to collect the beautiful leaves of many trees. The shapes, colors and details of the fragile leaves inspire me and live on in my scarf design.


  • Pre-hemmed silk scarf ( has a large selection)
  • Jacquard Green Label Silk Color Kit. The kit includes: 2 oz. bottle each of red, yellow, blue and black dyes, 2 oz. bottle Removable Water-based Resist (with application bottle and metal tip), bamboo sumi brush and 250 ml. bottle of Dyeset Concentrate. (All products can also be purchased separately in larger sizes as well, including gutta resist, used in this project.)
  • Jacquard Silk Salt (optional)
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Soft brushes and a palette (I use a white, plastic ice tray)
  • Black marker/white paper
  • Masking tape and straight pins

1) Use the black marker to draw leaf shapes onto the paper. The outline of the design needs to be connected and unbroken.

2) Iron and stretch the scarf. Attach masking tape to all four corners with straight pins and tape the scarf between two folding metal chairs (stretcher bars work well too) and put down a plastic drop cloth. (Not pictured). With small pieces of tape, fix the leaf drawing to the underside of the silk scarf and place a lamp under the paper design so the outlined drawing can be seen more easily.

Step 1

3) Using the gutta resist (any color) in an applicator bottle, squeeze the bottle to apply an even line. Trace the leaf design onto the silk scarf. The gutta will spread out a little after it is applied. Resist is used to stop the flow of the liquid dye, so it is important to completely connect the resist lines. Allow the resist to dry (usually overnight).

4) Fill the ice tray palette with the Jacquard Silk Colors and use the brush to apply the dyes. The technique is a little different than painting with thick paints in that you simply touch the brush to the silk and watch the colors flow across the silk. You can blend the wet dyes on the surface and create endless new color combinations. If desired, Jacquard Silk Salt can be applied to wet dye on the silk to give a mottled appearance.

Step 3

5) Let the dyed scarf dry completely.

6) The final step is to immerse the scarf for about 5 minutes in a solution of 2 oz. Jacquard Dyeset Concentrate and 2 qts. cold water to permanently fix the dyes. After a quick rinse in cold water, leave the scarf to dry for awhile and iron (medium setting) while it is still slightly damp (or spritz and iron).

Step 4

Finished project

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Fall Leaf Scarf

Artist: Deborah Padrick

Deborah Padrick is an artist and teacher in Sebastopol, CA. She creates silk-art scarf gifts and teaches silk painting to adult classes and children in Sonoma County schools.To learn more about Deborah and her classes, please visit her website at