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Fabric Painting Materials And Techniques

| Fabric Craft > Fabric Painting Designs,Other Fabric Crafts



Fevicryl Fabric Colours

Fabric painting is a very interesting hobby and passion that one can inculcate. There are professionals who specialise in fabric painting in a big way commercially. It's been an initiative and a breakthrough on our part here at Pidilite to have launched out new range of Fevicryl Fabric Colours that are ideal and apt to be used on fabric/s.

The Fevicryl Fabric colours are bright, bold and they are versatile on fabric/s. The colours are water based and absolutely safe for children as they are non toxic in nature.


Choosing the right fabric :

Fabric painting can be successful only if you use the correct kind and type of fabric. The nature and properties of Fabric colours make it apt for fabric no doubt but choosing the right fabric is important. Fabric colours are perfect and best on materials such as cotton, khadi and silk as they are natural fibre fabrics.

There are few important key specifics that one needs to keep in mind while painting on fabric materials. Here are few pointers ; A tightly woven fabric when painted on will give you a very smooth kind of a finish. Similarly, a loose fabric can nevertheless be painted but requires a specific kind of technique. The higher the thread count of a fabric the better would be the final resultant.

Another very vital aspect that needs to be kept in mind is, how a fabric needs to be prepared prior to painting.

Firstly, a fabric needs to be pre washed so that if there is scope of shrinkage in it, it would be over with and if any starch present that too would be washed off.

Secondly, the fabric would have to be dried and ironed.

Once these things are done on a fabric, your base material is now ready to be painted with Fabric Colours.  

If we speak about synthetic fabrics now, they normally do not absorb colours as they are made of polymers and the paint would merely sit atop the fabric. Having said that Fevicryl Fabric Paints work well on synthetic fabrics, provided the fabric has no sheen or an oily finish.

Washable, natural fibres and blends are the best fabrics to be worked on with Fabric paints.


Fabric painting materials are:

  • Cotton
  • Cotton / Poly Blend
  • Cotton knits like muslin
  • Canvas
  • Flannels
  • Linen
  • Organza
  • Silk
  • Terrycot
  • Chiffon
  • Crepe
  • Georgette


On the other hand, fabrics that might work well with Fabric paints are

  • Rayon
  • Velvet (Natural or Synthetic)
  • Velveteen
  • Nylon
  • Other Synthetic Fabrics
  • For these fabrics mentioned above, it would be advisable to first test a small patch of an area on a hidden part, to see how the Fabric Paint reacts.

One can use Fabric Paints on non woven surfaces too, such as Leather, Lutradur (a non woven fabric that is mostly used by mixed media artists, that works well with Fabric Paints. Suede too is a good option.


Fabric painting tools and equipments :

To begin Fabric Painting, one needs to gather or atleast have knowledge of the right tools and equipments. As for different techniques there are different tools that are used.

  • Paintbrushes – Both flat and round tip, in various sizes
  • Foam Brushes / Sponges
  • Toothbrushes
  • Water Container
  • Plastic covering to protect the work surface
  • Apron to protect your clothing
  • Paint Palette
  • Paper Towels
  • Paint application techniques are of importance as it finally makes your artwork.

Paint can be applied onto fabric in numerous ways, here are few of the common fabric painting techniques that one should know, they are :

  • Wet into Wet Technique
  • Salt Technique
  • Roller Painting
  • Filling Colours
  • Tie and Dye 
  • Block Printing / Stamping
  • Spraying
  • Using Stencils
  • Screen Printing
  • Sun Painting
  • Marbling
  • Dyeing
  • Batik Technique
  • And a lot more ….....


Heat Setting and Fabric Care

Once dried Acrylic Paints are permanent. Fevicryl paints do not need heat setting. The fabric should be left to cure for 7 days before washing.

After painting there are few fabrics that can be hand washed, while others can safely be machine washed. Do consult the manufacturer's instructions on the paint labels for any specific instructions.

Always wash fabrics inside out and never expose them while drying to direct sunlight. Keep in mind to never soak the fabric in hot water or even wash in hot water.


Preparing a fabric

Washable, natural fibers are the best fabrics to be painted on. It would be a good idea to always test a hidden area of your fabric with your paint to see how the fabric and paints react and then make your decision.

Begin your project by always first washing, drying and ironing your fabric. This will take care of shrinkage and starch.

Do not ever use a fabric softener for fabrics that you intend painting on as they would simply repel the paints.

Place a cardboard or a waxed paper in between the layers of the fabric and pin the fabric to it for smoothness and ease while working. This will give you an ideal surface to work on. Using a carbon paper and pencil transfer your desired / chosen design onto the fabric. Then start filling in the colour / paint.



Wet into Wet Technique - 

Wet into Wet Technique is what you are seeing in the above image.

There are merging and blending of shades and colours in a very watery consistency. How you achieve this is by beginning with shades that you intend using in a very liquidy or watery consistency by adding water.

Multiple applications can be painted over, once dry without picking up the underlying colours.

Light weight fabrics are appropriate for this kind of painting technique as they allow the liquidy paints to spread naturally and quickly.


Salt Technique –


This is method where one can use fine or coarse salt while painting. Taking a fabric, say a silk fabric, paint your pattern or design using paint that is watery in consistency. While it is still in it's wet stage randomly sprinkle the salt, or if a pattern is desired sprinkle the salt accordingly. Once dried, shake off the excess salt, what you will get are stains left by the grains of salt giving it a self impression. This is what you see in the image above.  


Filling Colours


Tie and Dye Technique -

Tie and Dye technique - is a very interesting painting method. The fabric is to be either folded / pleated / twsited / crumpled and wound around with a cobbler's thread or any sturdy thread, even rubberbands can be used. Taking paints that are in a very watery consistency, certain areas depending on the technique being followed, are painted and left to dry completely before opening up the entire fabric. When opened you will get a particular pattern or design. Natural dyes are usually used while doing tie and dye but these fabric colours do the same magic.   


Block Printing / Stamping -    


Block Printing is an age old method of painting and making impressions. There are wooden blocks that have either letters, pattern, motifs or any symbol that are engraved. They are then dipped in either natural dyes or pigments but nowadays in fabric colours and pressed neatly on fabric that needs to be adorned or printed. There are borders that are printed. A whole lot of block printing happens in the textile industry for garments, upholstery, etc.

Stamp Printing is a more contemporary type where the there is a rubber base that is stuck on a wooden piece. There again the patterns are varied depending on what exactly you desire to imprint and the method of stamping too remains the same.


Spray Painting -


Spray painting on fabric is something that a very easy DIY thing. The fabric paint is filled in a can that in a way converts it into compressed paint. All you need to do it open the can and spray what you get is a sprinkling of water colours. One can use stencils and spray paint. Take a plain T shirt, place your desired stencil on it and spray paint from a distance. Carefully removed your stencil, there you have a design done by you and so effortlessly. One can use this method to make bedspreads, curtains, jeans, t shirts, cushion covers, table cloths pretty much any fabric that needs a makeover. 


Using Stencils -



Using a stencil for fabric painting with fabric paints is real fun and any novice can also attempt it successfully. Stencils are available in varied designs and patterns. They are easy to make too, using a good standard of plastic and a sharp paper cutter. It can also be made with a simple OHP sheet and then carefully cut with a paper cutter. Use a sponge to dab the fabric paint onto the fabric that you desire to design. Stencilling on fabric is really limitless. One can spruce up your unholstery, cushion covers, curtains, table linen too. Garments such as denims, t shirts and a flared skirt too can look elegant.


Screen Printing –


Screen printing on fabric is a technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with the ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has been passed. Fabric paints are apt and ideal and work well on screen printing on fabric. Choose the right kind of fabric and follow the washing instructions carefully. 


Sun Painting -



Sun Painting is a very natural and basic way of painting with fabric paints. It uses the energy of the sun, it's heat and light to get your final result. Take your fabric that you desire to paint. Make use of feathers, leaves, flowers, maybe a stencil, a motif. Paint your fabric with fabric paint and while it still in it's wet stage, spread it directly under the sun, then place your elements over it aesthetically or the way you would want the design to shape out. Let it be under the influence of the sun till it dries completely. When you then remove the elements you will see the areas which were painted would be highlighted and the impressions of the elements would appear in a fader and faint manner. This look is very natural and chic and can be done on various fabric based things, such as cushion covers, a dress, a garment, table linen, the options are limitless. You could colour co ordinate depending on your home décor colour schemes. Personalise it for someone as a great handmade gift for house warming invite.


Marbling - 


Marbling fabrics is the art of floating paints on top of a thick solution, called size manipulating the paints into patterns, then transferring the pattern to an object by gently placing the object on top of the paints.


Dyeing - 



Fabric dyeing is a process od adding colour to textile products like fibres, yarns, and fabrics. Dyeing is normally done in a special solution containing dyes and particulat chemical material. 


Batik Technique -


Batik method of painting on fabric is more of a resist process that make patterns and designs on fabric. There is the usage of wax to prevent the dye or paint from penetrating and seeping into the cloth, leaving blank areas on the dyed fabric. The process of wax resist, followed by dyeing can be repeated over and over to create complex multi coloured designs and patterns. Batik is very popular in garments such as dupattas, stoles, kurtas, cushion covers, quilts etc. The colours used can be both bold and vibrant as well as pastel and calmer shades. Both these looks look beautiful and attractive.




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Posted 2 years ago

I am interested to do it could you please upload video or please share the total process how to do batik with febiric color?
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Posted 2 years ago

Hello mam can u give Ur no pls I need help for fabric cloth
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Posted 1 year ago

Do visit our channel related to fabric painting Kamakshi Arts And Crafts (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC54FTHBfmHQXvJxDqVQRcZg)