I am going to run you through a few techniques to get a silk effect using the gradient and liquify tools together. I am going to make a wallpaper to demonstrate how this can be used.
Start out with a 1024X768 canvas size since that is pretty standard with a white background.
First I am going to make 4 black boxes on my screen and distribute them across the canvas evenly like this.
Next add a simple gradient overlay to each one through your blending options. Basically I am going to add a bright to darker of the same color.
My first gradient looks like this
Here are the rest altogether
Use whatever color you like or take a screenshto of the previous image and use these colors.
Select your first block in your layers palette and then control+click on the little icon beside “Layer 1”
This will make a selection around the block.
Once you do that create a new layer above the block.
Now its time to get your gradient tool ready for use. Click on your gradient tool in your tools and choose a radial gradient.
Set it to transparency and use these colors
In your new layer drag your gradient tool over the other layer but still leave some of the layer behind showing. Make small dots, large dots, and random sizes like this:
Now go to filter>>liquify and use these settings:
Along with those settings use a smaller brush to to achieve a realistic result.
Once you set that take your mouse and make downward motions on the layer.
Make sure you keep the edges in tact.
Here is my result from that
Use the same technique on the other 3 blocks.
Next I am going to make each one looks like the wind is blowing a corner of them up by using the warp tool.
Merge your first silk block together and then use the keyboard shortcut on the layer ctrl+t to transform it. After that right click on it and hit warp.
Drag either corner similar to this:
My result from that:
As you can see when you zoom in the edge of the curtain is slightly pixelated so I am going to use the pen tool or polygon lasso tool to select the edge of it and delete
Now it should look more crisp when you go back to regular zoom level.
Now I am going to add a shadow to the bent part of the image so make a selection around the edge like this
Start a new layer. Get your brush tool with the color black, about 45px size, set the opacity to about 80%, set the flow to about 60% and go around the edge with it to make a slight shadow.
As you can see I have a harsh edge at the top
I am going to erase that with a large soft eraser brush
Now set the opacity of your shadow to about 60%.
Use that same technique on all the others as well.