Craftsy Course: Exciting World of Fabric Paints

It’s a well-known phenomenon amongst those that sew:  If you can’t sew — you shop.  I didn’t add to my stash last month, but I did buy a couple of Craftsy Courses.

I’ve been dabbling with adding color to my projects for a few years.  I feel like I’m alone in my efforts to use something other than dye. Yet puzzled. If I’m alone, why is there such a vast and varied amount of supplies readily available?  So I was quite pleased when this course popped up on Craftsy and completed it during my  er down time.

The instructor, Cindy Walter, is primarily a quilter but does some garment sewing and some multi-media art. She is calmer than the instructor of my previous class (reviewed yesterday). That along with her good organization and speaking skills made the class a delight.  If I have a complaint, it would be that she’s almost an@l at keeping her area clean and organized. Not only does she use a drop cloth, but also a stack of paper to set her paints upon, rolls of paper towels and despite the fact acrylic paints are non-toxic, she wears gloves.  I’m not really complaining. I’m more amused. She herself repeatedly says you don’t need the gloves. She wears them because paints get on her hands and then she will inadvertently transfer it to other items (clothes, completed projects, etc).

Why I like acrylic paints and have pretty much settled into using are the same things the Cindy points out as advantages. They are non-toxic. Other possibly toxic chemicals are not needed because acrylic paints set themselves.   They can be reliably mixed and thinned. In fact she recommends a 50/50 water/paint solution to create thin dye-consistency paints (about the thickness of milk). (Think Dy-Ne-flow other very thin paints).  Although Textile Medium can be added to artist grade acrylic paints, she recommends looking for paints that are intended for use on fabric or textiles. Also to determine consistency (thin or thick), shake the bottle. Thin paints will slop about rapidly and make a very “liquid” sound like shaking a carton of milk.  Thick paints have a consistency similar to Yogurt and will not slop around. They kind of clunk from end to end when shaken.  I also like the “clean up” with acrylic paints. Cindy cleans up in the sink and reuses brushes, sponges, everything with just a quick wash in the sink. In the final lessons, Cindy also introduces Inktense pencils/blocks, mica powders and PaintStiks. I’ve played with and love all of them. She does point out that the mica powders are toxic if you breathe them.  One thing she left out is that Inktense pencils can be set using Textile Medium which at the same times dissolves the Inktense pigment bringing out their saturated colors (that’s what I did here).  She discusses the limitation of metallic paints as well as demonstrating their beauty in multiple uses.

Cindy demonstrate many beautiful techniques for using acrylic paints. She adds water, salt; scrunches, brushes and dabs. Pulls out her stencils, stamps (not all stamps are commercially made) and rubbing plates. Explaining why as well as how she is getting the results that you see.  She shares an adaptive Shibori technique. She corrects mistakes and over-paints freely. In fact she recommends buying white on white, black and white or beige fabrics on sale and painting them for marvelous results. She shares 2 garments she painted and a series of miniature quilts in addition to completed quilts of various sizes and a host of painted fat quarters.

I took away from class a knowledge of when to use thick paint, thin paint or other media as well as a host of ideas for experimenting with paint. Definitely gets 5 STARS from me.

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3 thoughts on “Craftsy Course: Exciting World of Fabric Paints

  1. I’d never thought about dabbling in fabric painting, but the course does sound great. I’m going to head over and have a look at the pictures!

    1. I really enjoy the class. This is one of the few classes in which I’ve interacted with the instructor. I asked a few questions and received answers within 24 hours. She really has me pumped.

  2. sounds fascinating, particularly the use of various additional types of color. I do use paint and stencils in decorating my clothing, and am doing less with fabric dye, in part because as you mention the working with paint is a lot less chemical intensive. I really look forward to seeing what you do with your new knowledge

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