Painting Fabrics With Texture

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To paint or not to paint with texture... that is the big fabric painting question. What's all the fuss about? Well, so glad you asked. Today there are so many counterfeits on the market in just about any and everything that can be produced by man. Creating an interesting texture on fabric gives the appearance of having the real deal, an original, not a print of one.

With so many look-a-likes available in just about every nook and cranny of the world, many discerning consumers are looking for that fabric that offers just a touch more pizzazz than the norm; something that they consider an exotic or a specialty fabric. Using this application generally calls for the use of a sturdier fabric for the base which is another benefit if your application requires robust fabrics. So, in essence a textured product is more interesting to look at, usually stronger, and gives the perception of a higher value even if the raised effects are in selected areas.

Dimensional paint works wonders if you want to add texture to your fabric. It holds texture somewhat like the icing on a well sculpted cake. These paints can be used in many ways but because of the firm body, it tends to be quite easy to form and hold its pattern.

Depending on the purpose of your fabric you will need to determine the weight and weave of what you will choose to apply your design on. Loose weave fabrics are not recommended as the paint needs a surface to adhere to. The loose weave allows for too much paint to escape which makes the painted surface look a little dull when dried. Therefore look towards using tightly woven fabrics.

The weight of the fabric is an important consideration for several reasons. A thin or light weight fabric with heavy paint does not serve well for functional applications; eventually the fabric will give in to the weight and tear. In other words lighter fabrics with heavy paints should be limited to decorative uses where there is little interaction with persons or things touching it. These are a definite no-no for functional products such as purses, boots and so forth.

Using this technique to paint fabrics opens a whole world of possibilities. Though you may choose to paint with a regular acrylic paint brush, you are in no way limited to using this standard style. The possibilities are endless. The application and transformation of the paint can be done using spoons, Popsicle sticks, your fingers (yep, I said that), and a sponge brush just to name a few tools.

The beauty of art is that you can just go for it. This is your time to just express yourself and come up with new ideas, concepts and designs with your paint. For those of us who are more restricted in approaching art and painting, my advice is this; relax! Let your fears and inhibitions go; you'll be amazed at what you can create with your new free-flowing, textured abstract art.

Everything does not have to come out perfectly when you are learning. Through your seemingly odd mistakes you just may stumble across a new concept or product. Turn on some music, protect the area you are painting, wear comfy clothes and just go for it. You have found a new way to relieve stress and who would have thought in the process you would be learning to paint with texture too!

Teri M. Bethel specializes in creating painted fabrics for designers as well as teaching do-it-yourselfers how to paint fabrics with texture. She is the designer of Teri Monique Handbags, a line of custom made art purses for ladies.
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