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painting on fabric

sharon_ramsay | Posted in The Archives on

Am interested in painting white paint on denim, then adding stitched details over these areas. Looking for best type opaque paint that can be stenciled. I’ve heard that some can be heat set–I do need to make sure it can wash later. Also, sponge or dry brush paint??


  1. Joanne_Burnett | | #1

    Hi Sharon,
    Any good acylic paint can be used. I am partial to Nova which I order from Ca. Use a sponge to apply. I put a small blob of paint on a paper plate, dab the sponge in the paint, then 'blot' the sponge on the plate before applying to the fabric. You have to experiment a bit but several light coats are better than a heavy one that goes thru the fabric. Heat set with an iron or in the dryer for 20-30minutes. In one of the back issues of Threads is an article by Diane Ericson on stenciling on fabric. It has all the info. Joanne B.

    1. sharon_ramsay | | #2

      *Thanks, Joanne. I did find the directions for my bottle of Versatex. I'm using white over med color denim, so it needed to have some body to it. Also, did find another textile paint at an art store locally today, which also uses an iron to set. Since I'm using this techniques for a class, I did need to get these things pretty well established. sharon

      1. Karen_Vesk | | #3

        *I was just working on fabric that I hand-painted with Tulip and Duncan paint(that I got from Michael's Craft store). Although the paint was not applied thickly (for the most part, sponged and dry-brushed with a fan brush onto cotton/lycra to make a unitard), but I still found it a bit sticky to sew over. Every time I hit a patch of paint, it slowed down my stitching. Perhaps a walking foot or a teflon foot may help - has anyone had any experience with what works?

        1. sharon_ramsay | | #4

          *did not stencil solid paint, tho--just general outlines of areas. It was easiest to put down a semi-solid color, & then go back & add another layer (since I was working w/white on denim/med color). sharon

          1. sharon_ramsay | | #5

            *It seems I lost the 1st part of my reply to Karen--my Pfaff has a built-in dual feed that takes the trouble out of feeding fabric oddities. A textile paint medium extender has proved better for thinning than water. sharon

          2. Karen_Vesk | | #6

            *Just thought I'd mention that if one of your paints is partly congeled, no need to throw it out... I just used a takeout food knife as a palette knife - and the striated effect is just to DIE for (lipstick pink metallic paint on a teal cotton/lycra, lightly sponged with various shades of darker blues). I'd scan it to show you but it's not dry yet.

          3. Susan_Pullen | | #7

            *Dear All, Why not try bleaching the denim? It can be achieved in a design pattern by adding bleach to a medium - example - cornflour or an extender fabric paint! You of course can only add as much bleach as the medium will take - too much bleach and it becomes too runny and bleeds at the edges. This mixture can then be stensiled or screen printed or even hand painted on. WARNING: Use mixture ASAP and be careful it ddoesn'tspill on to anything else.Remember write your mixture down so you can share or repeat it. Test by washing mixture out

          4. Karen_Vesk | | #8

            *By the way, the problem with the stitching is not the differential (my Husqvarna Lily is a dream to drive) - it's the stickiness of the paint against the bottom of the foot.

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