PERMASET water-based screen printing inks aren’t just limited to the one technique—you can easily use them to hand paint and block print onto T-shirts, canvas, bags, yardage or even shoes to create amazing unique garments and homewares. Here are some of our favourite practical tips and examples for painting on fabric and textiles using PERMASET AQUA Standard and Glow inks.
Tip 1: Choose (and test) your fabric wisely
There is an incredible array of fabrics and textiles to choose from when it comes to hand painting. You might prefer a natural oatmeal linen for rustic tea towels, or a delicate natural silk for light scarves. If you can, create some small swatches of your chosen fabric so you can test out ink consistencies and application before you make your final print or paint your design. It’s also important to pre-wash some textiles such as cotton clothing, to preshrink before your printing or painting. Don’t use fabric softener or other treatments as this/these can impair the adhesion of the final artwork.
Tip 2: Experiment with various painting and printing techniques
There are so many options for hand painting and hand printing onto textiles. You might try block printing using a simple repeated pattern or use hand painting to add a customised message to a T-shirt. You can also dip fabric into a prepared ink solution or spray diluted ink on fabric in a spatter or drip pattern or even try tie-dying. Another option is to spray the fabric with water prior to painting with water-based inks for a softer spontaneous result. The sky is the limit when you have the right materials, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try different techniques.
Tip 3: Use the right fabric paint
It’s important to choose a product for its ease of application and longevity as well as for its sustainability. PERMASET AQUA Standard and Glow inks offer amazing colour choices for decorating light coloured fabrics. If you’re designing for black or dark fabrics, then the vivid PERMASET SUPERCOVER Inks deliver amazing opacity.
One of the best parts of textile painting can be the tiny authentic smudges and edges that make each piece completely unique. Don’t worry about small mistakes when you’re hand painting onto fabric. You can clean up spots with a cotton swab, cover it later with an extra embellishment like a patch or button, or just embrace it as perfectly imperfect!
Tip 5: Be sure to heat set your inks/paints
Heat setting the ink ensures that it bonds to the fabric fibres. It’s an essential step in creating a long-lasting finish for your hand painted textile design. You might be working with an iron, a drying tunnel or a tumble dryer. Test some spare fabric swatches first, using your method of choice, before applying it to your final designed textile (or other) piece(s), particularly for delicate fabrics. Here is a link to the PERMASET Heat Setting Technical Data Sheet with advice and tips for curing PERMASET Inks. Once your textiles have been heat set, then you’ll be ready to sew, wear, wash or even sell your completed painted textile creations!