Fabric Painting


Choose from a variety of craft paints for painting or decorating textiles and other surfaces. The fluid silk paints are for painting on silk fabrics and fine weaves, while the less fluid fabric paints are more suitable for painting on cotton, cardboard, paper and polymer clay.

Heat transfer paints are designed for use on polyester and other synthetics and prints can be reproduced a number of times, while the marbling paints offer a more random method of printing.

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The range of fabric painting equipment includes silk painting frames and pins, brushes, paint mixing dishes and the Colour Mixing Wheel. If you would like to have a go at painting on fabric, the George Weil range of fabrics provides a good choice of finely woven cottons and silks.

The printing inks which include block printing inks and screen printing inks add to the choice for surface decoration, as do the artist paints, which include acrylics, oils and watercolours. These paints and inks are available to buy from their relevant section in the Crafts menu.

How are Paints Made?

Paint is made up of pigment suspended in a viscous binder. The tiny particles of pigment are dispersed in the binder and when the paint is applied to a substrate such as paper, canvas or fabric, the pigment sticks to the surface and adheres when the binder has dried. Artists oil paints were and are still mixed with oils which tend to take longer to dry.  Water based paints are mixed with an acrylic binder which, in the case of fabric paints, can be ‘melted’ with heat to set the colours to make them wash fast. The pigment in traditional artists watercolour paints are bound together using gum arabic or a synthetic glycol.

Historically, pigments were created from naturally occurring substances such as finely ground lapiz lazuli to create ultramarine blue, powdered chalk to create white and soot from oil lamps to create lamp black.

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