TOBASIGN - silk colour (paint)

TobaSign fabric dyes & paints are widely recognised for their qualities in the world of silk painting. They are dyes that can be used to paint and to dye 100% natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, linen...


TobaSign is a fibre-reactive dye in liquid form. These dyes react chemically with the fibre molecules and create a chemical bond. Thus the dye is permanently held in the fibre. The strong binding between both provides an excellent light- and wash-fastness without altering the intrinsic qualities of each fabric.

Concerning the use, note that the TobaSign dyes can be fixed in 2 different ways with the same result: with TobaFix or with steam. 

TOBASIGN is available as:

TOBASIGN liquid to paint and to dye 100% natural fabrics.
For painting on silk, cotton, linen, wool..., shibori, batik...

Available in 16 colours, bottles of 50ml and 250ml.

See colours on chart.

TOBASIGN thickened to paint on 100% natural fabrics.
This paint does not expand on the fabric. It can also be used as coloured gutta.

Available in 16 colours, bottles of 50ml.

See colours on chart.

TOBAWET to dilute the TobaSign dyes & paints and to obtain clearer tones and special effects.
Available in bottles of 250ml.

Colourless gutta: TOBAGUT is a colourless paste used as an outliner. Where applied it seals the fibre so that no paint can seep through the fabric.
Available in bottles of 50ml and 250ml.

Coloured gutta: TOBASIGN thickened is a coloured paste used to draw and as an outliner. Where applied it seals the fibre so that no paint can seep through. After fixing, the colour of the gutta remains on the fabric.
Available in 16 colours, bottles of 50ml.
See colours on chart.

TOBAFIX to fix the TobaSign dyes.
Available in bottles of 250ml and 1000ml.

Painting and dyeing with fiber-reactive dyes involves 3 stages:

  1. the absorption of the dyes in the fabric,

  2. the fixing of the dyes in the fabric, and

  3. the rinsing of the superfluous and not fixed dye-stuff.


Paint with TobaSign for silk painting, painted batik etc...

1. the
absorption with TOBASIGN liquid

When you apply TobaSign on the fabric, you will note how the dye expands in all directions. The speed and the way the dyes expand depend on the quality and the thickness of the fabric. It's important that the fabrics are 100% natural (silk, cotton, linen, wool,...) The fabrics must be free of sizing or dressing that may prevent dye absorption.

The dyes can be applied in different ways; with normal brushes, foam brushes, an airbrush...

The colors can perfectly be mixed with each other before their application or on the fabric directly.

TOBAWET serves to dilute the TobaSign dyes and to obtain clearer tones.

TOBAGUT and TOBASIGN thickened are used to outline drawings. With the gutta you can create zones. Where applied the gutta seals the fibers and prevents the dye to expand from one zone to another.

Apply the gutta on the outlines of the drawing and leave it to dry. Once it is dry you can paint within the areas reserved. The dye will expand evenly until the limit marked by the gutta.

After the dyes have been fixed within the fiber, the gutta is eliminated when the fabric is washed with water. The colorless gutta disappears then and the surfaces previously covered with it return to their original color. The colored gutta will preserve its color.

2. the fixing with Tobafix 


After painting, wait until the fabric is completely dry. Next step is to fix the dyes promoting a permanent bond between the dye and the fiber. It is recommended to let the work on the frame during the fixing process. The application of TobaFix is simple. Apply it with a foam brush. It is important it covers all painted parts.

In order to fix thick fabrics it is recommended to apply TobaFix on both sides of the fabric.

After 1 hour the dyes are fixed within the fiber.

Note: TobaFix only serves to fix TobaSign dyes.

Depending on the fabric the TobaSign dyes are fixed in different ways:

• On silk the dyes can be fixed indifferently

with Tobafix


with steam

(with exactly the same result);

• On cotton and on linen the dyes can only be fixed

with Tobafix

• On wool the dyes can only be fixed

with steam


3. the rinsing


After fixing, rinse the fabric in running water and agitate it so that TobaFix is eliminated and the excess dye is washed away.

Don't worry if the water gets colored. The fiber of the fabric cannot absorb an unlimited amount of color and rejects the exceeding dye.


Dye with TobaSign for Batik, Shibori,...


Dye recipe

to dye by hand and in the washing machine:

Proportion of fabric and water: 1/20
For each gram of fabric 20 ml of water
100 gr of fabric 2000ml (2 liter) of water

Proportion of dyestuff, salt and fix:

TobaSign liquid 50ml/litre of water - less for lighter colors
Salt 50gr/litre of water
TobaFix 50ml/litre of water for cotton and linen
25ml/litre of water for silk

Dye by hand:


1. the absorption: dye bath with TOBASIGN fiber-reactive dyes

Weigh the fabric

Prepare the dye bath (water + salt + TobaSign liquid dye) according to the mentioned proportions in the recipe

Wet the fabric before submerging it into the dye bath.

Immerse the wetted fabric in the dye bath.

Agitate the fabric during half an hour in the dye bath.

2. fixation with TOBAFIX

Remove the fabric out of the dye bath.

Add TobaFix to the dye bath according to the mentioned proportions.

Submerge the fabric again in the dye bath with TobaFix.

Stir during 1 hour.

3. the rinsing

Remove the fabric from the dye bath and rinse it in running water so that the excess dye is washed away.

Dye in the washing machine:

1. the absorption: dye bath with TOBASIGN fiber-reactive dyes

Weigh the fabric and calculate the quantities of salt, TobaSign and TobaFix needed according to the proportions in the recipe. 

Pour the salt in the washing machine.

Put the fabric in the washing machine.

Set the machine on main washing program without pre-wash at 30°C. and start the machine.

Add the TobaSign dyes in the powder dispenser.

Let the machine agitate during 15 minutes with the salt, the fabric and the dye.

2. fixation with TOBAFIX

Add the TobaFix and let it run through the entire washing program. The fixative must act for 1 hour. Pay attention that the dye bath is not drained out before that time. You might have to extend the wash cycle.

 3. the rinsing

After dyeing the fabric, run it through a complete wash cycle with a neutral detergent.

Some tips when dyeing in the washing machine:

To dye uniform colors, select the program with the maximum amount of water.

Do not overload the washing machine.

To dye small amounts of fabric, select the program with low water consumption.

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