There is always something fascinating to the feminine mind in the word chiffon. Light, transparent, and dainty, it has a great claim upon the imagination, and how useful also is the seductive, filmy, hand-painted scarf made of chiffon.
When the air is chilly, how gratefully we throw around our shoulders the cobwebby scarf which is so marvellously warm.
Painted chiffon in any shape or form is always an expensive luxury. When it composes a ball-gown it may run up to any figure. Such a gown is always beautiful and distinctive. In these days wonderful effects are obtained with printed chiffons, but when side by side with the real article, one sees at once the difference between the two. They cannot be compared. If desired, it is possible to add quite a respectable sum to one's pin-money, or to the cause of some pet charity, by painting chiffon. So many people possess some knowledge of painting in water-colours, but how few turn it to any profitable account, although they may wish to do so. Far away, hidden in a country vicarage, a girl used to wander aimlessly about the quaint old garden, painting odd bits and corners, or sprays of flowers, to while away long hours. Later these sketches followed many others, and came to an ignominious end. Beyond being a pleasant pastime there was no happy or practical result, until she thought of painting the flowers on to a chiffon scarf. She placed a bunch of sweet-peas in a bowl, and opened her box of water-colours, and commenced to lay on to the delicate fabric a riot of luxuriant colour.
But how were they to be disposed of ? She asked the manager of a large hotel at a fashionable seaside resort to allow her to display her chiffons. The permission was readily granted. A corner of the splendid drawing-room was at her disposal. With the aid of a friend she unpacked her filmy scarves arid awaited results. In the course of a few hours she had parted with seven pounds1 worth of painted chiffon, and returned to the country vicarage with many orders for her beautiful work.
The flowers should tone with the gown. If the dress is pink choose a design of malmaisons or smaller carnations. It is smarter to have a slight difference in the design on one end of the scarf to the other, This is the delight of hand-painted chiffon. The artist is not bound by law or convention, but she can be guided entirely by her own sweet will or fancy. If the artist paints from Nature, a bunch of flowers carelessly arranged in a vase is her best guide, but charming floral copies can be bought or hired from any art depot. The paints should be obtained in tubes. Many mediums can be bought for painting on textile fabrics, but plain water is an excellent medium for chiffon.
Plain chiffon scarves of exquisite colouring may be bought from three - and-elevenpence upwards. When painted they fetch about thirty shillings.
One end of the scarf should be stretched across a frame, of a size about 28 inches by 28 inches. The frame can be made at home with very little tuouble and expense. Procure two laths at one penny each. Cut them to the required size, or put a nail at each corner.
Bind each corner securely around with a linen strip, to protect the chiffon at the edges of the frame. Place the frame on an easel, and paint the flowers directly on to the fabric. When one end of the scarf is finished, and the design is dry, unpin it from the frame; then roll it up in tissue paper, and fasten the other end across the frame, and proceed with the painting.