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!

How to choose the right type of silk

Types of silk fabric

There are many types of silk fabric produced. These are the most well-known:

 pongeHabotai – also known as China silk, Pongee, the ”classic” silk fabric and was used to line kimonos. This type silk has differen thickness. A sheer basic plain weave fabric that is soft and drapes well – usually used as garment lining. The basics silks are typically used for lining, painting and printing, handkerchiefs, lightweight loose fitting garments and garment dyeing, banners, art & craft, film and theatre.

chiffonChiffon – An elegant, sheer and more loosely woven fiber with a soft beautiful drape and a crepe like texture. 100% silk chiffon, they float like a feather on a summer breeze! These are probably the next most popular fabric to Habotai to make scarves from as well as beautiful! Sometimes called Crepe Chiffon, this fabric is highly suited for special occasion dresses, scarves, nightgowns, and linings, bridal, lingerie, smart day, evening and cocktail wear, veils, shawls, scarves, nuno felting, painting, printing etc. Also frequently used in film and theatre work. Chiffon is softer and thinner than Georgette. [Georgette is made like chiffon, but with a two or three ply yarn. The silk is strong and yet light in weight with a matte crinkly surface producing a wonderful drape. Designs made with this silk have a delightful light and bouncy sense. Whilst developed primarily for bridal wear it is a stunning fabric for contemporary wear. Typically used for bridal, scarves, shawls, evening wear, contemporary garments, trimmings, film and theatre.] Because of its slippery quality, chiffon is difficult to cut and sew. NOTE: Chiffon shrinks a lot because of loose weave, much more in length- drying scarves while stretched helps reduce shrinkage.

crepe-de-chineCrepe de Chine – The “Mercedes” of the silks, Crepe de Chine is heavier and more substantial than the Habotai, with a soft, more luxurious texture. The crepe finish adds a bit of interest and has a more subtle sheen, a smooth surface and an elegant shimmer. Additionally, Crêpe de Chine is also extremely wrinkle resistant due to its especially elastic yarns. This silk is very suitable for light blouses and tunics.


Silk Satin – These are a medium weight silk with a great drape and flow. Silky with an extremely smooth shiny top surface, a luxurious very draping silk, with a shiny satin face and matt crepe back. This is what many people think of when they think “silk”. Nice when you want something more luxurious and less sheer. It can be used to create elegant and chic designs with a classic bias cut which are often considered slinky and sexy. Ladies’ blouses, seductive yet sophisticated lingerie, lounge wear, evening and cocktail wear, dressage stocks, millinery, film and theatre work.

organzaOrganza – This sheer, lightweight fabric is like a stiffer, crisper, and sturdier cousin of chiffon. Organza is a versatile silk which can be used to add layers of volume and also makes a great structured silk for use as backing for sheer designs. Organza makes us think of all things bridal, romance and big occasions, couture, structured outfits, millinery, veils, nuno felting, art & craft, film and theatre.

Diana designs the most stunning silk painted scarfs. This shoot shows her designing the medium range silks and the start of a top of the range silk scarf. The first scarf is full of peone roses, the third scarf is designed with dragon flies, a sun and landscape.

Hope it will help to choose right type of silk.

Introduction about silk and guidance how to look after it Silk Background



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.

Story about my silk painting


One of the most exciting things about knowing a commercial photographer in Wiltshire; df461ab0605fcf59251a10d3f812ec6c[1]

Let me introduce you to Barbara, a wonderfully talented  Wiltshire-based professional photographer, a lovely lady who has created a portfolio of photographs showcasing and explaining my work in a step by step process. Now, let me introduce myself to you..

was inspired by oriental silk painters. My teacher Ele Tamasauskiene rsz_10319_177914407441_169101662441_3691151_103811_nfuelled my passion for this medium and loaned me a beautiful book, that to this day, still inspires my art and paintings.

I turned my passion into a beautiful business; creating bespoke, hand painted silk scarves. I  have since gone on to create bolero style wraps and tunics, tops, pictures, hanging wall scrolls, ties and curtains.

Barbara visited me at my place of work, documenting the individual steps of a silk design. I showed her what inspired me, how I am influenced by nature and how I turn this inspiration into pieces of art that can be worn.


There is a whole set of skills and techniques required to prepare the silk ready to be painted. First of all I stretch the material into a frame that holds it rigid, this is accomplished with special pin grips called frame pins or with delicate hooks that hold it in place but does not cause any damage to the final piece.


Once the silk is secured, I can begin the design; I start with a delicate outline in pencil, occasionally a piece is so detailed, or if it is going on to a big piece of silk, it needs to be drawn on to a paper template that then trace over; other times I draw freehand. My pencil marks are confident and sure- showing my innate skill for art; Barbara said that it was a real pleasure to witness. 

There are many styles to use within silk painting. When defining an edge for a design I use water based gutta, when dried it creates a barrier to stop the inks from bleeding into each other.




An alternative method to add  definition includes using a clear barrier, that once complete allows the original colour of the silk to come through, unlike water colour painters using masking fluid.


For Barbara one of the beautiful things to know about me is that I, like a traditional artist, mix my own colours from raw minerals. They come in powered form and are mixed with hot water; the intensity of the colour can be intensified or diluted with the amount of water used.



The time I spent with Barbara today makes me feel like we only scratched the surface of the possibilities of my skills. 

Each scarf takes on average 30 hours to make, some of the more detailed/larger pieces can take closer to 60 hours – it is a true labour of love and you know that I put my heart and soul into my work. 

I was very excited to be photographed and share with Barbara the different levels of my work; from the very basic, to the intermediate, to the fully detailed and intricate work that can go into one of my most requested designs. I look forward to sharing this journey with her throughout the year.


Price is obviously dependant on design; with each scarf being hand crafted it comes down to the design, as well as the amount of detail and therefore time it takes to create. If you wish to find out more, including costs, please contact me directly through my website Designer Silks By Diana 

Please be inspired by this photo story, and check out my website to see more of my designs and commissions.  

You can also find me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. If you want to see what inspires me then follow me on Pinterest.

Spring coming

Are you struggling to find a Mother’s Day, Easter or Birthday present that inspires you and will inspire a loved one?

Why not visit Designer Silks by Diana website   – https://designersilksbydiana.com/index.php/products – an inspirational online gift shop set up by entrepreneur Diana Kisirauskiene.

Designer Silks by Diana is to reduce the pressure of choosing gifts, by offering a wide choice in a single place. Diana has selected, and stocks, a range of original, unique, personalized and thoughtful gifts to make loved ones smile.

From ladies scarves in different design, sizes, colours, boleros, sarongs and pictures, ties, here are unique gifts for everyone: Mum, Dad, Grandma, friends, colleagues and even yourself when you fancy a treat.

Scarves have become the all year round fashion essential –   choose from our selection with prices from £55.00.


Global Success for Designer Silks by Diana!

BBC Radio Interview  

Sue Davis - BBC Radio

I was very honored to have the opportunity of having a one-to-one radio interview from BBC’s, Sue Davies. This was a fabulous opportunity for Designer Silks by Diana to have been approached by the BBC and is a testament of my skills and talent. I am very proud!

At this present time, I am unable to attach the original recording, however I am hoping to be able to post it at a later date.

Magazine Editorial for Aspire Magazine Group 

Yet again, I have been fortunate enough to have featured in the Aspire Magazine Group which is a lifestyle and leisure magazine, distributed to over fifteen thousand readers. I have attached the article below, but it can also be found at https://aspiremagazinegroup.co.uk/download/332.pdf

Aspire Article
Silk Painting Designs Inspired by Famous Artists 


ITV Weather Presenter Alex gives Diana’s Silks the thumbs up! 

Alex Weather Man

I was very privileged to have been approached by ITV Weather Presenter, Alex Beresford to design a silk tie for him to wear during his airtime.

Fiona Scott described Alex as being handsome, confident and charming – both inside and out. When I saw photographs of Alex I could sense passion in his eyes, but at the same time someone who was calm, kind, caring and who takes pride in their health and appearance.

When designing the tie for Alex, I wanted to reflect his personality in the colours, fabrics, style and design I chose. Therefore, I decided to choose blue to reflect calm, harmony and the essence of being a man. I also chose red for passion, power and love. The tree is a sign of stability and confidence – as I knew what a close relationship he has with his son. It also denotes a strong, independent personality and because he shares information about the weather, it complements the natural, outdoor theme. Therefore I felt the design brought together many aspects of his life and personality.

I hope he enjoys wearing it.

Designer Silks by Diana now in bespoke clothing shop EZZA in Bath

I am extremely excited to be able to announce my bespoke silk items are available in store at Ezza, in Bath. Ezza is a charming store providing limited edition accessories. My products have been selected to go exclusivley on sale here because they compliment the quality of the other goods in the store.


If you would like to visit the store to view my fine handed painted silks, please click here to visit the Ezza website

Hello and welcome to Designer Silks by Diana

My blog will be an interesting site for you to keep track of all of my latest projects and hand painted silk art designs.

Currently I am creating a colour palette to make it easy for my customers to choose from a range of lovely choices they can have in their bespoke hand painted silk items.


The website will shortly have a bespoke order form so you can email me with your complete requirements for any garment, be it a scarf, tie, table cloth or any item you wish.