Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fabric Painting

Have you ever painted fabric?  I mean on fabric other than stretched canvas.  Until today I had not.  Read on to see if this is something you might like to do.

My small art quilters group met today at the home of one of us who live on the eastern side of the Hudson in a beautiful more-country-than-suburban area.  My Garmin got me there with no problems - except for the road construction which my friend had warned me about.  C had pulled out every ordinary acrylic paint, every unusual kind of paint (glitter, metallic, texturizing to name just a few) and brushes, every imaginable pattern making tool, every conceivable necessity for this project that one could even think of and several one could not and lined it all up on her driveway.  She knew where the shade would be at various times of the day and made sure we wouldn't be in the sun.  One of the best tools she had was a window for each of us, and yes, I do mean a regular house window (though just the glass out of heavy frames).  The perfect work surface for wet fabric painting!

Each of us were to supply our own pre-washed fabric - preferably muslin , and I realized last night that my supply of muslin was down to a skimpy 12" x  24' piece!  I had whittled down my yardage bit by bit without realizing how little was left.  I had to improvise.  I wound up taking the scrap of muslin and 4 chunks of drop cloth.  I strongly recommend muslin over drop cloth (the paint sinks right into it instead of flowing across the surface).

On the drop cloth pieces I experimented with really painting as opposed to dyeing.  I wanted to know what that would look like.  It's an experiment I'll have to repeat due to the limitations of the drop cloth (see above).  But it did teach  me that even acrylic paints lighten considerably in drying if they've be watered down too much!  Waterproof markers will run if they are still freshly applied when wet paint is brushed over them.  One should begin with dyeing instead of painting to get a better feel for what does and what does not work to well.

After lunch, I moved on to my one piece of muslin and made the decision to turn my hand to dyeing.  What a difference!  We also found that the Fabric Medium among C's supplies made a huge difference in allowing the paint to move across the fabric - the muslin with its smoother surface was also a factor.  My friends let me use some of their fabrics so I was able to make three dyed pieces, two of which are still at C's house to finish drying.  Here's the large piece that dried sufficiently for me to bring home:

Neat, right?  You can be sure I will be painting and dyeing fabric again!

1 comment:

  1. sounds like the art group is a lot of fun and you're learning a lot of different stuff!!
    much more fun than my job - 23 year old walked backwards off a loading dock and the lawyer wants to know why there's no railings on a loading dock? REALLY ???