Top 7 Fabric Painting Tips
by Marketer .
Are your hands itching to move on to other mediums after decorative painting? Take a cue from the art of t-shirt printing and consider painting your old tops for an enlivening look. Begin with a quick sketch of the design and repeat it on the fabric using the same pencil. Even though the best way to learn fabric painting is by trial and error, here are some tips that would help you learn faster.
1. Choose a suitable fabric
If you are only just starting out, use 100% cotton for your fabric. It has a tight weave and is better for sharp images. However, if your design is going to be an abstract rendition, you can go with fabrics that are loosely woven, too. If you’re not too sure about how this will go, consider t-shirt printing.
2. Prewash the fabric to avoid shrinking
This is an essential part of preparation prior to fabric painting. Wash the fabric and machine-dry it so that any shrinkage later doesn’t ruin the t-shirt art. However, remember not to add softener while washing. If, for some reason, you can’t prewash the garment, drop a few drops of water on it. If it sinks, you can go ahead with painting.
3. Set fabric paints using heat
After hours of painting the fabric, let it dry overnight. In the morning, you can tumble it for about half an hour in the dryer. Otherwise, cover the painted area with a towel and iron over it using the highest heat setting recommended for the particular garment. However, avoid using the steam setting. However, heat-setting is not required for acrylic paints.
4. Make the painting smoother
If you can wet the fabric very slightly, it can help the paints to flow across the fabric well. However, if you’re not too sure about doing it right, skip it. Too much water can dilute the colors.
5. Keep the stencil in place
In order to get the perfect image/art, you could use a stencil. However, keeping the stencil absolutely steady could be a challenge. To accomplish this, use a stencil spray or a spray adhesive that can be repositioned. You can easily buy the latter online, but make sure it is non-wrinkling and low odor.
6. Spray paint for faded effect
Just like with t-shirt printing, good fabric painting is always about choosing the right technique. If you need faded coverage and not dense impressions, spray painting is the best. If you change your mind and decide to go for a saturated look, you can consider giving multiple coats. When painting large areas, you should consider using a foam roller instead of a nap roller. The latter dispenses a lot of paint and can lead to bleeding.
7. Be mindful of protection
Be it cushion or pillow covers, or t-shirts or sweatshirts, you need to be careful not to let the paint seep into the back. To prevent this from happening, wrap a piece of cardboard in plastic and place it inside. You can secure it as well, with masking tape or pins. Always keep a damp cloth handy to wipe your hands whenever required.
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