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Fabric Paint

fabric paint

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Fabric paint supplies

Step by step fabric Paint projects

Fabric painted scraps
fabric painted scraps

A fun and creative way to use up all those leftover bits of painted fabric to create something new and beautiful!

Articles on Fabric Paint


Fabric painting basics
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Requirements for getting started with Fabric Painting


100% natural fibers should be used, pure cotton, bleached or unbleached calico, wool, silk or viscose.

It is very important that the material be pre-washed in hot water and then be dried and ironed before painting. The reason for this is that all fabric is pre-treated with starch to enhance its appearance and to make it appear crease-resistant. This layer of starch prevents the paint from penetrating the fibers of the material, with the result that the paint could in fact be washed off after the first wash. Read more...

Application and Technique Guide

Place your design onto a flat base board or work table, smooth down and fix fabric to the base with masking tape or drawing pins.
Choose your colour scheme and start painting. Paint lighter colours first and follow with the darker colours. Dip brush into water, pick up paint and evenly colour-in the design first and then the background. Create shading to achieve the desired effect.
Remember, the paint is transparent. Allow each colour to dry before painting the next one. Colours must butt against each other. Two colours overlapping will blend and create a third colour. Rather paint alternate areas and then return to the unpainted ones when the paint is dry. A hand-held hairdryer will speed drying.
Use small, pointed, round brushes for delicate detail and a flat brush, sponge or roller for large areas. Use spout bottles with any preferred colour for outlining, detailing and highlights.
It is vital to use the correct tools for the technique you are working with. These can range from brushes, rollers, sponges, stencils, stamps, masking tape, paint palettes, cotton wool buds, water, jars, fabric pens to salt etc. Make sure you have everything you need before starting.
Wash brushes and tools with warm water immediately after use.
Dabbing colour on with the sponge gives the effect of fading from dark to light, or from one colour to another. Using potato cuts or rubber stamps, stencils or other shapely objects, you can produce a repeated stamp type pattern.
Flicking paint off the bristles of a toothbrush or paint brush will give a spotted effect.
Practice and experimentation are the keys to greater enjoyment from your hands-on fabric paint set.

Handy colour tips

The colour spectrum which you can create with your kit is amazing. Depending on the quantities mixed you can achieve the colours below. Once again, this will be achieved with experience and experimentation.

1 Primrose + 2 Azure Blue = Emerald Green
2 Primrose + 2 Emerald Green = Leaf Green
8 Primrose + 1 Bright Red = Orange
20 Primrose + Bright Red = Golden Yellow
1 Magenta + 4 Clear Base = Pink
10 Magenta + Navy = Maroon
10 Magenta + 1 Azure Blue = Violet
3 Magenta + 1 Leaf Green = Brown
1 Black + 10 Clear Base = Grey
1 of any color + 5 Clear Base + White = Pastel

Keep notes and colour swatches of your recipes for repeat work. With imagination you can create any colour.


Fabric painting has a long-spanning history, going back thousands of years to when people originally began twisting & weaving fabric for clothes. People started using the same painting techniques on fabric that they had previously used to decorate the body. Printing blocks were discovered in Asia which date back to 3000 BC and in 327 BC, when Alexander the Great invaded India, colourfully printed and painted fabric was commonplace. The Chinese introduced resist and stencil techniques to Japan, who further developed this art into attractive techniques of fabric patterning. Early Peruvian resist techniques from around 200 BC have also been discovered. Varying techniques in different parts of the world have been developed into the batik, tie-dying and shibori techniques of today.

A few fabric painting techniques

Batik: Batik is the ancient art of applying paraffin resist and coloured dyes to fabrics like cotton or silk. It is commonly found in many parts of the World but it is especially well-known for its colourful cloth and wall hangings found in Indonesia and West Africa.

Silk Screening: Silk Screening is a versatile technique which is widely used because of its cost-effectiveness and simplicity. When done properly, silk screening results in high quality prints. To silk screen, a very thin polyester mesh is stretched tightly onto a frame. A negative design is created on the screen using a variety of techniques including rolling or sponging. The screen is then pressed onto the item being printed. This technique is commonly used in T-shirt print design.

Rubber Stamping: Also known as Stamping, Rubber Stamping is a technique in which an ink is applied to an image or pattern that has been molded, carved, engraved or vulcanised onto a sheet of rubber. The rubber is in-turn normally mounted onto a stable base for easier use. Once applied, the ink is then transferred to a material via the stamp, creating a pattern or picture on the material.

Shibori and Tie-Dying: Shibori is the Japanese art of pattern-dying material by folding, binding, twisting, stretching and compressing it. Tie-dying is the most common form of Shibori used in Western Society. These techniques allow for a variety of different shapes and patterns, totally dependent on the way the material is handled.

Stenciling: Stenciling is a technique whereby a template is used to paint identical letters, numbers, shapes or patterns onto material. It is a very common technique and is not only used fabric painting, but in many other crafts including drawing and woodworking. When a variety of stencils are used, the results created can be exceptionally picturesque

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