Embellishments: Paint on Knits
Knit fabrics are comfortable and easy to wear because their stretch enables them to move with the body. The same stretch presents a challenge for stitchers who love to embellish, because many decorative techniques inhibit the fabric’s elasticity. However, there are methods that can work.
I’ve had great success with dabbing lightweight liquid paint onto knit fabrics to create intricate designs. I’ll show you how to do it so the fabric is not distorted or stiffened in the application process and the new details dry quickly. The paints are easy to mix into a variety of colorful tints and hues. The design possibilities are myriad. With proper care, the paints are permanent and can be machine-washed as well as machine-dried on a low-heat setting.
Along with a paint that flexes with knit fabrics, you need appropriate fabrics and patterns for successful painted embellishment.
My favorite paint to use on knits is Artistic Artifacts Fluid Textile Paint. It comes in a variety of colors and amounts. The paints blend easily to create different hues. If you use a different paint, look for water-based paints that are thick enough to control with a brush or stencil. Use a shallow plastic lid or plate as a palette. Foam stipple brushes, daubers, or sponges work for this technique. Make sure you have one for each color, to limit unwanted color mixing.
Stencils are helpful if you prefer to paint consistent motifs rather than freehand designs.
This technique requires smoothly knitted yardage such…