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How to Choose Brushes for Fabric Painting

Make sure you have the right tools for creating a textile masterpiece with these tips.


  • Step 1: Keep fabric in mind Keep your fabric and design in mind. You may want smaller, finer brushes if you're painting on silk. You can use larger brushes for linen or cotton.
  • Step 2: Consider the tip Consider both flat and round-tip natural boar bristle brushes in a variety of sizes to achieve your design goal.
  • TIP: Natural bristles are easier to work with on fabric than synthetic.
  • Step 3: Get specific Get brushes for specific jobs. Flat shaders are ideal for creating leaf strokes and a clean edge. A liner brush produces long, thin lines, perfect for stems and scrolls. A scrubber is great for stippling and blending colors.
  • Step 4: Use foam brushes Use inexpensive foam brushes to achieve a smooth look. Also consider synthetic and natural sea sponges.
  • Step 5: Care for them Care for your brushes to extend their life. Wipe them down when you're finished using them, wash them thoroughly, and never leave them soaking.
  • FACT: Different types of animal hair are used in making Japanese and Chinese calligraphy brushes, including goat's hair and wolf's hair.

You Will Need

  • Fabric
  • Flat- and round-tip boar bristle brushes
  • Shading brushes
  • Lining brushes
  • Scrubber
  • Foam brushes
  • Synthetic and natural sponges

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