Tutorial index

Stenciling Tutorials

Stencil film

Stencil Films

Stencil paint

Paints for Stenciling

Tools

Stencil Making Tools

Cutting

How to Cut Stencils

Cutting

Stenciling Equipment

Stencil projects index

Stenciling Projects

Stencil projects index

How to Stencil

Stencil Film Articles & Info
Stenciling With Acrylic Paints
Stenciling With Fabric Paints
Stenciling With Latex Paints
Stencil Paint Articles & Info
Stencil Films FAQ
How to Cut Stencils
How to Stop Paint Bleeding Under a Stencil
Printing Directly to Drafting Film
Ideal Stencil Film Thickness
Mylar Stencil Film Supplies:
Sheets and Roll
Stencil film roll

Stenciling with Fabric Paints

Stencil Paints Part 3: Stenciling with Fabric Paints

Fabric paint is a paint that is specially formulated to be used on textiles. Water based fabric paint like other types of paint is an emulsion of pigments, synthetic binders and a solvent.

The solvent in most fabric paints is water. Fabric paints usually require a heat setting process to make the dry paint permanent. This usually involves ironing the garment after the paint has dried.

Fabric paint also contains a number of additives to give it various characteristics such as softness and the ability to stretch without cracking. Sometimes fabric paint manufacturers offer a number of additives that allow the paint to adhere to partly synthetic or totally synthetic fabrics.

Pearlescent, assortment of fabric paints are available both online and offline.metallic and iridescent fabric paints are readily available from many craft stores and art suppliers. Fabric paints do not change the color of the fibre such as a fabric dye would. Instead the paint adheres to the surface of the fibres

You use fabric paint much like you would use ordinary paint. Fabric dye is different from fabric paint. Fabric dyes, change the colors of the textile fibres at a molecular level. Fabric paints are emulsions of pigments suspended in synthetic binders much like acrylic paints. Fabric paint adheres best to natural fibres like silk linen and cotton. A large assortment of fabric paints are available both online and offline.

Some fabrics are treated when new, and will tend to resist fabric paints. In this case they should be pre washed. Most t-shirts that I have painted did not require pre washing. Cotton lycra is great for fabric painting. Make a note to read the washing heat setting and general care instructions on the label or from the paint manufacturer before using them.

Sometimes fabric paint manufacturers offer a number of additives that allow the paint to adhere to partly synthetic or totally synthetic fabrics. Pearlescent, metallic and iridescent fabric paints are readily available from many craft stores and art suppliers.

Standard Colors and Super Cover

There are two main types of fabric paint. They are often labeled as "standard colors" and " "super cover". Super cover paints are formulated for dark garments or fabrics. Super cover paints tend to be thick and buttery.

When you apply a super cover paint over a dark garment, you will not be able to see the fabrics color through the paint layer. If you are painting light colored or white fabrics, use standard colors. You can also dilute standard fabric paint to simulate water color effects.

The best super cover paints are professional water-based silkscreen paints. Professional fabric inks give superior results especially on dark colored materials.These types of screen ink have high pigment strength and superior working characteristics

Both regular and "super cover" fabric paints can be brushed or airbrushed onto the fabric through most stencils. Heavy body or super cover paints can also be applied through the stencils with a plastic spatula. This method yields a smoother and thicker result that when applied with a brush

Artist acrylic paint will adhere well when applied over fabric paint. The dragon image on the right was stenciled with base colors of super cover paint over black cotton lycra fabric. Once the fabric paint was dry, acrylic paint was airbrushed over the top to achieve the various colors and effects. The fabric was then heat-set with and iron.

The fabric was then used to make cotton Lycra tights or leggings.. This dragon design sold quite well over a 12 year period which gave me an opprtunity to observe the natural wear and tear of the painted design.

I have always advised my customers to hand wash these garments gently to preserve and extend the life of the image.

Even after 12 months of wear, many of the stenciled designs were as fresh and brilliant as the day they were painted. Not everybody took care to hand wash. Garments that were machine washed still lasted a long time but the colors were nowhere near as brilliant.

In some cases where the tights were machine washed in Hot water with strong detergent, the acrylic layers had more tendancy to fade at a much faster rate.

Fabric paints can also be applied to canvas. I have many tikes used super cover paint to prime a canvas with a suitable backgroud color before applying the stencil work.

Dragon print made with fabric paint

Popular Brands of Fabric Paint

Matsui, Permaset, Tintex, Neopaque, Aquatex, Createx, Lumiere, PROfab, PRObrite, Speedbal, Versatex, Jacquard, Pebeo Setacolor, Jones Tones.

Stenciling with Fabric paints
© youstencil.com.au 2010
All YouStencil designs are protected by
international copyright laws.