Painting on fabric is a fascinating activity, which today remains a very popular form of needlework. Manufacturers offer a wide range of dyes for fabric – from traditional to innovative. Our article will help you understand the most popular types and decide on the choice of paint for best results.

Choice of material

For re-dyeing and painting the most suitable natural materials – linen, wool, cotton fabrics, natural silk. Also very good results are obtained when working with textiles containing not more than 60% synthetic fibers. On such materials, tinting is beautiful and uniform. The Jacquard iDye Poly has solved the problem of tinting completely synthetic fabrics and its use removes the restrictions on the requirements for the textile composition.

Types of dyes

Progress is rapidly moving forward. Manufacturers offer a wide range of textile paints that differ in their properties and application possibilities. The forms of release of pigments are also diverse. The most common: paint in cans, tubes, aerosols, powder in bags. Paste and powder forms most often need additional preparation before application, while liquid and aerosol forms do not need such preparation.

There are two large groups of fabric paints on the market:

  • for silk, labeled “Silk” on the package;
  • for textiles, labeled “Textil”.

As the name implies, Silk is suitable for painting and dyeing silk, but it is also used for fine cotton fabric. It is used together with the contour-reserve that creates the outlines of the pattern, as the paint itself is very liquid.

Silk paints are characterized by high fluidity and transparency, with their help borders of pattern are obtained smoothly, you can create beautiful patterns. An interesting effect is achieved by using acrylic paints with salt.

The mixed technique, knotty, multilayer or hot batik is just a small list of techniques where silk pigments are actively used.

Textile paints are denser, have a high density, they are easy to paint over large areas, they do not spill, and do not require the use of outlines.

Paints for textiles are actively used for prints on dresses, jeans, T-shirts, pillows, furnishings. Quite interesting look products in the stencil technique, and the most popular is the technique of free painting, which resembles the usual drawing.

Manufacturers offer a large selection of paints for textiles: with metallic effect, neon, with sequins, for light or dark textiles, etc.

An important characteristic of the pigment is the method of fixing the dye. There are two kinds of dyes on the market:

  • fixable under the influence of high temperatures;
  • fixable under the action of steam.

If you are a beginner, it is better to choose heat colorants because it is easier to use an iron than special steaming devices. The process of fixing is necessary to keep the dye on the fabric as long as possible, not to stain other things when washing, and also to keep its color under the influence of ultraviolet rays.

Acrylic paints for fabric

Acrylic paints for fabric are created on the basis of artificial resins, water-soluble, completely safe for humans. They are constantly in high demand among lovers of painting and have a number of undeniable advantages. Acrylic paints are ready to use, available in different forms: cans, tubes, aerosols. Acrylic paints come in matt, glossy, pearlescent, glittering, luminous, neon or metallic effects.

Acrylics are used for silk as well as cotton fabrics, viscose, wool, linen, synthetics, blended materials.

Acrylic is versatile in its use, it is used for painting T-shirts, bags. tablecloths, napkins, handkerchiefs. However, acrylic paints are not recommended for painting things that are subjected to frequent washing, as the paint fades and washes over time. This category includes bedding and children’s items. We also do not recommend dyeing children’s clothes with acrylic because of the danger of an allergic reaction to the dye, especially for children of young preschool age.

Acrylics can be used to paint outerwear (jackets, coats) and shoes. It has moisture resistance and frost resistance – things become resistant to rain, snow and other adverse natural phenomena.

Acrylic paints are odorless and dry quickly. Another plus is the possibility of choosing unusual shades: turquoise, lemon, ultramarine and others. The colors blend well together, giving needlewomen the opportunity to create their own unique color.

Acrylic paints are versatile and can be applied with a brush or foam pad, as well as for painting by scribing or stenciling.

In batik, acrylic colours are used only with a reserve contour that fixes the edges of the design to prevent the colours from mixing.

paint on fabric

Aniline colors

Aniline colors have been on the market for many years, and they are available in powder or liquid form. If you are working with powder, you should be careful and avoid getting the powder particles in the respiratory tract, because aniline is very dangerous. However, after being applied to textiles, the paint loses its toxic properties and becomes completely safe for human health. The advantage of aniline dyes is that they give the fabric a bright, saturated color. Dyes can be combined with each other and get unique shades.

Aniline dyes have restrictions on the composition of fabric – only natural fabrics (cotton, linen, silk, etc.) can be used.

Aniline colors are well-proven for their application in the gradient technique. Its essence is that the product is gradually immersed in water at a certain temperature, so that part of it is colored in a darker color, and the other part remains lighter. You can get the effect of divorces, if the product for a short time curled hands.

Aniline dyes are often used to paint decorative items or create paintings. A peculiarity of aniline paints is that the product must be steamed to allow the dye to adhere to the fabric. This procedure requires a certain experience, and inattention can lead to defects.

To work with aniline colors it is better to use soft brushes. Aniline spreads well, so it is used to create drawings that do not have clear outlines. If it is necessary to outline contours, two basic methods are used:

  • tragant glue is added to the paint in the ratio of one to three;
  • the fabric is primed with a special composition based on gelatin.

Aniline colors are convenient to work on any fabric. They dry long enough, so the masters have time to have time to correct the flaws in the drawing. If the resulting image was too bright, it can easily be lightened by applying a small amount of water on the fabric.

Plastisol inks

To the innovative dyes can be referred plastisol-based dyes used for different kinds of fabric, including 100% synthetic. Plastisol inks can be used on any, even the heaviest fabrics (suede, denim, burlap). They form a special moisture-proof film on fabric that resembles rubber in its appearance.

Plastisol is included in reflective and luminous paints. They are used to apply luminous designs to outerwear, footwear, sportswear. The paints can be invisible in the daytime, but in the dark, when exposed to light or UV rays, they acquire a green, yellow, pink or white color.

It is important to remember that to dry the plastisol paint you must provide a temperature of 140-1600 C, at a lower temperature the paint does not dry.

Plastisol inks are easy to use, are sold ready-made, do not require dilution or other preliminary preparation.

Stamp inks

Stamp inks are universal dyes used for different kinds of textiles. The pigment is most widely used in hotels and hospitals – it is used for marking the bedding, towels and other articles of fabric. They are highly resistant and resistant to high temperatures. In particular, things dyed with alcohol-based dyes can be subjected to boiling and bleaching. Water-glycerine-based stamp paints dry quickly and are not sticky to hands, but the maximum wash temperature is already 70 degrees.

Colorless paints that are invisible in normal light are interesting. Area of application – the application of hidden markings, are manifested under the influence of ultraviolet rays.

Cubic paints

The pigment is available as a paste or powder, the main feature – water solubility. Cube dyes are most often used to dye embossed fabric, such as wool. However, yellow and orange pigments accelerate fabric degradation from ultraviolet rays, so the dye should be used with caution on those things that will be exposed to active sunlight.

Natural dyes

Natural dyes have been used by people since ancient times, but they are significantly inferior to synthetic dyes in their application properties – the result of dyeing may be unpredictable, and the resulting color quickly loses brightness.

The advantage of natural pigments is that they are environmentally friendly and can be used by people who are prone to allergic reactions to synthetic dyes.

Natural dyes include coffee, onion husks, fir cones, oak bark, cinnamon and black tea, from which a brown pigment can be obtained. Indigo color is obtained from a mixture of turmeric and spinach, and purple from beets.

The range of applications for fabric paints is very wide. Painting clothes and shoes allows you to find your own exclusive style. Pictures of fabric, tablecloths, lampshades and pillows made in different painting techniques, will create a unique comfort in your home, and the process will bring indispensable pleasure.