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Best Brushes and Techniques for Fabric Painting

Fabric Painting

Painting does not start and end with canvas and paper or landscapes and portraits. In fact, you can take your passion for art and your crafting skills anywhere you desire. You can turn a coffee table into a masterpiece, a window into a work of art and even transform clothes into fashionable forms of self-expression with fabric painting. With the thrilling craft of painting on fabric you can give makeovers to your old t-shirts, bags, even furniture fabric like cushions!

Add your individual artistic flair to everyday fashion pieces or add a bespoke design to houseware or objects in your office by painting on fabric. Have you been feeling inspired lately? Take that inspiration and spill it out onto the backpack that’s been sitting in the back of your wardrobe or the t-shirt you were going to take down to the local charity shop.

Fabric painting is the ultimate way to put those well practiced arty skills to the test as well as giving everyday items your own magic touch. A great group activity or simply taking some alone time to unwind, it is something everyone will enjoy. One of the best parts of fabric painting is that you can display your beautiful masterpieces by wearing them, you are the canvas.

Best Brushes for Fabric Painting

One of the first steps in fabric painting is deciding what tools you need which may be a case of digging through your craft box or adding something new to your collection. It is important to know which brushes work best for fabric as material can be a tricky surface to work with. Luckily, some of our Reeves paint brushes are designed to work perfectly with all types of fabric.

Be sure to choose the correct brush for the job as they all have their own individual characteristics that make them useful for achieving specific looks and effects. If you are painting on cotton or linen, you may find larger brushes easier as the material is more durable than the likes of silk where smaller, finer brushes will work better on the smooth and soft surface.

Flat brushes are ideal for filling in large sections of your design whereas round brushes are useful for achieving tiny details and thin strokes. Once you have completed your textile masterpiece, be sure to wipe your brushes off followed by washing them but don’t let them soak for too long as this could damage their delicate bristles.

What Paint to use on Fabric

Reeves oil and acrylic paints pair perfectly with any fabric project big or small. Poster paint can also be used on fabric but beware, it could begin to flake off over time. Our oil paint is the perfect recipe for a fabric showpiece having been used for centuries dating back to the Renaissance when they were used on canvas.

When applied to fabric, oil paint may crack or fade over time. However, its exceptional blending abilities make it wonderful to work with. Prevent chipping or wearing away of your fabric paint by prepping your chosen material with a clear or white gesso primer to seal up and enhance the fabric.

Acrylic paint is a commonly chosen favourite when it comes to funking up your fabrics. At Reeves, we offer this quick dryer in a wide assortment of kaleidoscopic colours that are user friendly for all abilities and fully flexible making it the go to choice for any textile paint. So, pick up your acrylic paint palette and carefully chosen brush and channel your inner fashion designer as you create magnificent works of art on your very own materials.

Brush Techniques for Painting Fabrics

Because fabric is delicate and slightly more trying than say, canvas or cardboard you may find it challenging to apply common brush techniques to your textile piece. However, there are no rules here so open that creative mind of yours and see where your imagination can take you.

It is recommended, especially for beginner artists, to draw your design with a pencil on to your fabric before you being to paint. For beginners, why not practice your pencil techniques by sketching your design out on paper before taking on the fabric. Once you are happy with your design you can begin to follow the sketch with paint. This gives you a better guideline and lessens your chance of unfixable errors.

If you want to break away from the lines and try some freehand work, you can apply some commonly used techniques that we would usually see with canvas or paper work. Work different tones with gradient blending – commonly seen on canvas or paper can be carefully applied to fabric to create a beautiful effect of colours blending from one shade to another in a transitional fashion.

Give those couch cushions some extra oomph or spice up the handbag you were going to throw away. This can be done with most brushes but our Reeves flat brushes are recommended. Control your brush precisely so that the centre of the gradient is half and half of each colour. A tricky task but with determination and practice you will soon be a blending superstar.

Don’t be afraid to try new techniques when fabric painting or even methods you have mastered in other art projects such as scumbling or flicking. These techniques can give your project a contemporary twist and you might just be the fashion envy of all your friends.

Fabric Painting Techniques

Fabric painting is an easy-going project that allows you to be open with your creativeness and use your own concepts and artistic mind to be in control of your own designs. Before you take on any textiles make sure they are clean and thoroughly washed. Iron out any wrinkles or this could be a decorating disaster and place a piece of card under your chosen material before painting to ensure smooth lines and avoid paint seeping through to the other side.

The activity of fabric painting is a fun one, so enjoy it, let your creativity fly high and use your personal traits and talents to take control and create unique pieces that you can wear around town and display around your home with pride. Fabric painting is the ultimate way to express your unique style and inspiration. Design, embellish, bedazzle your fabrics – there are no limits to how far you can go on the exciting journey of turning plain items into bespoke masterpieces of colour and beauty.

Your creativity, some fabric and paint brushes!

Share your work with the world

Tag your masterpiece with #wearereeves. We’ll feature the best on our Instagram page.

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