Buy PERMASET Inks and accessories online today… shop now

5 practical tips for painting on fabric with screen print inks

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. 

You can have PERMASET non-toxic, solvent free inks delivered right to your door, or collect them from a stockist in your area.  Here’s a link to the PERMASET Online Shop if you wish to purchase your inks online 

Tip 4: Don’t sweat the small stuff 

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! 

Subscribe to get the latest inspiration, news & advice direct to your inbox

@imearthie

Case Studies
30th Nov

Clothing label Earthie shares why they use PERMASET Inks and how they strive to be a truly sustainable brand

Clothing label I’m Earthie shares how they strive to be a truly sustainable brand

Clothing label Earthie shares why they use PERMASET Inks and how they strive to be a truly sustainable brand

Clothing label I’m Earthie shares how they strive to be a truly sustainable brand

@cdc_creates

News
30th Nov

Find out how designer Caroline Di Costa created beautiful artworks and objects using PERMAPRINT Premium Inks

Learn how designer Caroline Di Costa produced a range of homewares using PERMAPRINT Premium inks

Find out how designer Caroline Di Costa created beautiful artworks and objects using PERMAPRINT Premium Inks

Learn how designer Caroline Di Costa produced a range of homewares using PERMAPRINT Premium inks

@printlords_screenprinting

Case Studies
30th Nov

Converting your screen printing from Plastisol to water-based inks

Find out how to convert your screen printing shop from plastisols to water-based inks

Converting your screen printing from Plastisol to water-based inks

Find out how to convert your screen printing shop from plastisols to water-based inks

There are no results to display. Please try a different keyword or reset the filters to see everything.