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Fabric Painting

Fabric painting is the art specialized to paint fabrics and its also the simplest way to print your own fabric. With the help of just a brush and few paints you can create amazing patterns, florals, design patterns and prints. Fabric painting can be applied on any fabric, but fabrics like cotton and silk are easier to decorate. The 2 basic methods are colouring and patterning. Colouring refers to directly applying an image with color to the cloth or fabric, whereas patterning refers to printing or painting patterns and finally coloring. Nowadays fabric paints are also used to create Mural Paintings on sarees and other dress materials.
Hibiscus flower painted with fabric paint Flower and leaves painted with fabric paint Rose painted with fabric paint

Methods of Fabric Painting

There are different methods of painting which gives various effects while applied on fabrics. Few fabric painting methods are
  • Line & dot
  • Wet shading
  • Dry shading
  • Wet on wet
  • Warli
  • Madhubani
  • Vegetable printing
  • Block printing
  • Finger printing
  • Brush strokes
Fabric Painting on Churidar

Basics of Fabric Painting

Requirements for Fabric Painting
  • Fabric (prefered Cotton)
  • Palette
  • Water bowl
  • Fabric / Acrylic colors
  • Brushes
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Design

Tips and Techniques

  • a) 100% cotton always better to start with
  • b) Wash the fabric before painting
  • c) Use tight weaved fabric
  • d) Iron the fabric well to get rid of the wrinkles
  • e) Always start and paint from top to bottom
  • f) Fix the fabric tightly with the help of a frame
  • g) After painting reverse the fabric and iron
  • h) Wetting the fabric
  • i) Use glitters to make your fabric sparkle.
Getting Started
  • Dilute your paint
    Its always better to mix your paint with water. The approximate propotion is 1:8, but it depends upto you according to how you paint. But if you decide to mix, make sure its mixed well.
  • Wet the cloth
    Dip your fabric in a water and wring it out. It helps you to paint the fabric well.
  • Dyeing the Fabric
    Before you start, keep in mind that not all fabric paints are non-toxic. So better to take care of your hands while dyeing the fabric. Take the paint in a flat vessel in which you can dip your damp fabric. Stir gently to ensure every inch is covered with paint. Wring the excess paint out and let it dry.
  • Placing your fabric
    Place your fabric on a flat surface or table. Remember to place a piece of paper underneath your fabric. In case you are using a stencil, lay it on top of your fabric.
  • Apply your paint
    Apply paint using brush to create desired designs either by free hand or using stencil.
  • Washing your fabric
    To wash your fabric, you should wait atleast 48 hours after painting is completed.
Fabric Painting
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" Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life " ~ Bill Cunningham
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Waves Institute of Fashion Designing,
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Near 4th Gate, P T Usha Road,
Kozhikode (Calicut) - 673001, Kerala, India
info@wifd.in
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