Fabric paint or textile paint is a specially formulated combination of pigments and chemically devised base specifically for painting or colouring fabric.  It has also been used with some success on other materials such as wood, paper, bisque plates, plaster of Paris and metal.  It is recommended to use the right paint for the specific material.

Fabric paint is water-based and all cleaning u p is done with water.  Paint may be diluted with water (this will cause bleeding into the fabric) for covering large areas of paler colour.  Brushes are washed in water.  The colour or pigments are applied to the fabric via the paint base (called Cut Clear or Clear Extender Medium) and is made permanent by applying heat.

The character of the paint is similar to Acrylics paints.  Undiluted, it does not flow as easily as watercolours and is translucent.  A few of the colours are opaque.  Always try to start with the lightest colour first and add shading while wet.

High quality fabric paints should be stored in airtight screw top jars to prevent paint from deteriorating.  Flip top atchar jars are not recommended.  Should paint thicken over a long period of time a small amount of distilled water may be added and stirred thoroughly.  After use and then left for a long time, mould occasionally develops on the surface.  Scoop this off and add a few drops of disinfectant (Savlon). 

The paints have different finishes: Transparent, Opaque, Pearl, Metallic, Puff and liquid Colourmist.

Read more in a next post on the different finishes...