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Fabric Decoration: Use of Metallic Paint

One of the most versatile methods of decorating cloth, hand painting is becoming increasingly easy to carry out as a wider range of fabric paints, dyes and pen become available to the public. Hand painting fabric has the advantage that you can combine a variety of different techniques and paint mediums on one piece of cloth with exciting results.

Q: How to use metallic paint
First draw your design on rough paper, using the actual colours that you intend to use for your final design. If you don’t have the exact colours, indicate where they should to using a lead pencil.
If you are unable to by silk in your preferred shade, dye a piece of white silk using hot or cold water dyes. Leave the cloth to dry and fix the colour by ironing the reverse of the cloth. When fixing dyes or paints, always use the hottest setting that the fabric can withstand without burning.

2. Cover a work surface with an old sheet to a piece of lining fabric to protect it, then place a backing cloth over the top and secure it with masking tape.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions for quantities, combine the binder with the catalyst. Once the catalyst is added, the mixture must be used within 24 hours. Next, combine the binder with the metallic past in a bowl.

3. Pin the dyed silk securely to the backing fabric and using a soft pencil or a piece of tailor’s chalk, draw your design on the silk to the exact dimensions.
Next, dip a fine paintbrush into the metallic paste mixture and carefully trace over the pencil guidelines. Vary the thickness of your paintbrush according to how heavy or fine a line you want to produce.

4. Once you are satisfied with your painted design, unpin the silk, carefully lift it off the work surface and hang it in a warm room to dry. It is important that you leave the metallic paste to dry for at least 48 hours before attempting to wash the cloth.

Equipment and materials

Scrap paper
Coloured pens
Soft pencil or tailor’s chalk
Old sheet
Backing cloth
Silk fabric
Dressmaker’s pins
Masking tape
Metallic paste
Coldwater or Hot water
Dyes (optional)


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