Hand painted and hand printed – what’s the difference?

Original or print? There is an extremely big difference between these two words. Many people mistake the word ‘print’ as if it is an original piece, however, this is not the case. At its simplest, we can define a print as a reproduction. In essence, it is a copy of the original.

When searching for hand made silk garments or works of art therefore, this explains why you may discover a huge difference in price. It’s worth checking how the item is produced. If it has a low price tag, it’s likely been printed and reproduced many times, it is not an original.

The higher priced silk items will, most probably, be hand painted; they will be original one off pieces and you won’t see any others looking exactly the same. In this instance, you are paying for the designer’s creativity, time, passion, materials and sheer excellence.

Only originals can truly portray the mood intended by the artist. Although prints may seem beautiful and well executed to the untrained eye, whilst they may depict the rough idea behind the piece they can never truly make you feel and appreciate the deep essence of the intended message.

My hand-crafted pieces, drawn or painted could never be the same if they were to be scanned and reproduced, even if this was produced with a high end scanner. Prints can never push the true depth through to the audience. There is no dimension to a print. With my original pieces you can experience the dyes bleeding into each fibre of the silk, like veins of the artwork, like roots burying into the silk.

I personally feel that by creating original pieces, I deliver the best quality of artistic precision for my customers, with a personal experience and a sense of individuality. By steering clear of producing prints I can ensure that each piece goes home to a person that will truly love and cherish my work, someone that has chosen a specific one-of-a-kind item, knowing that they, and only they, will be the only person that can experience the entire beauty of artwork. 


By purchasing an original, I can ensure that you, the customer, will experience the artwork in the way I have intended and will stand out amongst the crowd with a simply beautiful one-off piece of hand produced, bespoke design.


It’s how I like it, and I know it’s how my customers like it. Be yourself, be truly original, choose hand made silks, designed by Diana. You’re worth it!

Introduction about silk and guidance how to look after it



Silk has set the standard in luxury fabrics for several millennia. The origins of silk date back to Ancient China. Legend has it that a Chinese princess was sipping tea in her garden when a cocoon fell into her cup, and the hot tea loosened the long strand of silk. Ancient literature, however, attributes the popularization of silk to the Chinese Empress Si-Ling, to around 2600 b.c. Called the Goddess of the Silkworm, Si-Ling apparently raised silkworms and designed a loom for making silk fabrics.

The Chinese used silk fabrics for arts and decorations as well as for clothing. Silk became an integral part of the Chinese economy and an important means of exchange for trading with neighbouring countries. Caravans traded the prized silk fabrics along the famed Silk Road into the Near East. By the fourth century b.c., Alexander the Great is said to have introduced silk to Europe. The popularity of silk was influenced by Christian prelates who donned the rich fabrics and adorned their altars with them. Gradually the nobility began to have their own clothing fashioned from silk fabrics as well.

ssr_map_smallExhibit Introduction. Silk Road Map



Initially, the Chinese were highly protective of their secret to making silk. Indeed, the reigning powers decreed death by torture to anyone who divulged the secret of the silk-worm. Eventually, the mystery of the silk-making process was smuggled into neighbouring regions, reaching Japan about a.d. 300 and India around a.d. 400. By the eighth century, Spain began producing silk, and 400 years later Italy became quite successful at making silk, with several towns giving their names to particular types of silk.

silk-and-the-silkwormSilk obtained from silkworm: Silkworm lifecycle.



Raw silk of domesticated silk worms, showing its natural shine

The first country to apply scientific techniques to raising silkworms was Japan, which produces some of the world’s finest silk fabrics. Other countries that also produce quality silks are China, Italy, India, Spain, and France. China was the largest exporter of raw silk in the early 1990s, accounting for about 85% of the world’s raw silk, worth about $800 million. Exports of China’s finished silk products were about half of the world’s total at about $3 billion.

33_3_silk_satin_0Introduction The silk satin is a tightly-woven high quality fabric. The sheen looks quite noble, and the touch is smooth and elastic.



Silk is highly valued because it possesses many excellent properties. Not only does it look lustrous and feel luxurious, but it is also lightweight, resilient, and extremely strongone filament of silk is stronger then a comparable filament of steel! Although fabric manufacturers have created less costly alternatives to silk, such as nylon and polyester, silk is still in a class by itself.


Care of Silk Fabric: General Precautions

  • Silk is a natural protein fiber. Do not use chlorine bleach to clean silk; chlorine will damage the silk fabric
  • Avoid drying silk in direct sunlight as sunlight for a prolonged period will damage the silk fabric
  • Substances containing alcohol will damage silk fabric. So let your perfume and hairspray dry before dressing

Hand Washing Silk

  • Hand washing silk is our recommended mode of cleaning silk. Almost all silk can be hand washed (and would not shrink if the silk fabric were pre-shrunk before sewing)
  • If you have hard water, you may wish to first add a spoonful of borax to the washing water
  • Use lukewarm water and mild, non-alkaline soap (such as Ivory Liquid) or baby shampoo
  • While rinsing, you can add a few tablespoonfuls of distilled white vinegar to the rinse water to neutralize alkali traces and to dissolve soap residue
    Or, add a few drops of hair conditioner to the final rinse water for extra silky feel
  • Soaking silk for any more than a few minutes should be avoided
  • Do not use harsh detergents that contain bleaches or brighteners
  • Do not wring or twist; roll in towel to extract water

Silk Care: Drying Tips

  • Hang silk garments to dry. The silk garment will hold its shape
  • As with any fine fabric, never use direct sunlight to dry silk clothing. Doing so can damage the silk fiber and fade the color. Wet silk may yellow in direct sunlight or on a radiator
  • Don’t use a wooden drying rack, as the dyes & finishes can leave stains
  • We do not recommend drying silk in a clothes dryer since it can damage silk in two ways: (1) excessive temperature and heat dulls the silk fabric and may also shrink it (2) friction with the dryer drum might cause yarn breaks or white streaks
  • If you do wish to use a dryer, use the heatless AIR FLUFF setting

Silk Care: Ironing Silk

  • If necessary, press the silk garment inside out while damp using cool iron setting (“Silk” setting on the iron)
  • Do not wet locally as this may cause rings
  • Too much heat can dull, pucker, or burn silk fabric
  • Most wrinkles in silk can be removed by hanging the garment in the bathroom during a shower. Let humidity do the ironing for you!

Cleaning Silk: Wrinkle Removal Tips

  • Minor silk wrinkles should disappear if the garment is hung overnight
  • Stubborn wrinkles can be removed with a cool iron set on “silk”
  • Better yet, hang your silk garment in the bathroom during a shower. Humidity will remove the wrinkles for you

Cleaning Silk: Silk Stain Removal

  • Please consult with your dry cleaner
  • As with all fine fabrics, NEVER use chlorine bleach on silk, as it will erode the fiber (not to mention the fabric discoloration)

Silk Care: Travel Tips

  • Pack your silk garments as you would any other clothing. Simply hang the garment after unpacking. Minor wrinkles should disappear overnight
  • Better yet, hang your garment in the bathroom during a shower. The humidity will remove the wrinkles for you.Diana designs the most stunning silk painted scarfs. The final shoot, showing the peony scarf and the dragonfly scarf as finished pieces.