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How to Choose a Good Fabric Paint

With so many water-based paints available for fabric painting, you need to know which ones will work best for you.


  • Step 1: Consider fabric Consider the fabric you'll be working with. Create or buy a swatch book with different textiles in a variety of weights and colors to see how they look with various paints.
  • TIP: Beginners should start with 100 percent cotton fabric with a high thread count.
  • Step 2: Use textile paint Use textile paint, which is made specifically for fabric painting. If the color you want is unavailable, make your own by mixing textile medium, available at craft stores, with acrylic or all-purpose paint.
  • Step 3: Consider tubes Consider fabric paint tubes. The color is squeezed directly onto the fabric, meaning you won't need a brush. They come in a wide range of colors and finishes, like metallic and glitter, and you can create raised designs.
  • TIP: Fabric paint tubes are easy to apply and great for children.
  • Step 4: Try pens Try easy-to-use fabric pens. They're available in many colors but sometimes require a bit of shaking to get the color flowing.
  • Step 5: Use pots Use pots or bottles of fabric paint, applied with a brush, if you have good brush control or want a free-form design. Have a variety of brush sizes handy.
  • Step 6: Mix and match Mix and match various paints, colors, and application methods to come up with your own unique design.
  • FACT: The word batik, a method of hand-printing textiles using wax, is Indonesian in origin.

You Will Need

  • Fabric
  • A swatch book
  • Textile paint
  • Textile medium
  • Fabric paint tubes
  • Fabric pens
  • Fabric paint pots and brushes

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