Q. How do I stamp on fabric?
A. Printing on fabric was the beginning of my love affair with stamps! I just tried what I thought made sense and it is amazing that I am some sort of authority on the subject now.
After trying loads of different fabric paints, I found that Jacquard brand had the best colors, held up well, really becomes one with the material you are working on and was not toxic in any way. Jacquard fabric paints (make this a link to fabric paint category of store) have a great texture and I have never found any paint quite as good. If you happen to already own a lot of fabric paint, use what you have and then try the brand I prefer.
I also like to use something called Foam Core to insert under whatever project I am printing. It has just enough cushion for successful printing and you can cut it to fit anything. It also keeps the paint from seeping through to the underside of your garment.
I use little foam brushes to dip into the paint and apply color to my project. Dip in the brush and wipe off any excess, then paint a smooth thick layer of paint on your stamp. Use smooth long strokes or pat it all over the stamp. Each method will give a different result. Experiment!
If you have any problems with the paint separating you might try painting a thin layer of paint, then blow it dry with a hair dryer for about 30 seconds, apply a second coat and stamp. When you finally press the stamp to fabric you should really apply pressure and gingerly lift the stamp up, so no extra paint splatters. It's simple and with not much practice you can become a pro.
- Start on the back of your garment to get the hang of it all and to figure out placement. The back of a tee shirt is more forgiving that the front.
- After the project is completely dry, throw it in a hot dryer for thirty minutes to heat set.
- Clean your stamps and brushes with warm soapy water and scrub with a fingernail brush. Really, it is just logical.
- Keep Q-tips and toothpicks handy for cleaning out grooves of stamps or swabbing up excess paint
- I prefer 100% natural fibers, I live in the humid south and polyester is for people that haven't figured out how nice it is to be comfortable.
- I never pre-wash my garments - I don't care what the instructions say. Do not start this project with sweatshirts. They are a little trickier as they will pick up any paint that may be on the margins of the stamps. Start with a simple tee shirt.
- If you are just too uptight to try this, give it to a kid and let them have their way with it, you might just loosen up and love stamping on fabric after all.
Q. How do you clean the stamps?
A. I have always cleaned off fabric paint from my stamps by holding them under running water and washing them with soap and a fingernail brush. Some people seem shocked that this is how I care for stamps, but it seemed logical to me.
Q. What do I do if the paint separates on the stamp?
A. You really do need a good thick covering of paint, so if this is a problem, paint a thin coat of paint on the stamp. Then use a hair dryer and blow it dry directly on the stamp. This might take one minute. Now, put a second coat of paint on the tacky first coat. You will find the coverage much more satisfactory.
Q. How long does it take the paint to dry?
A. Usually a printed garment takes about an hour to dry. Some areas may have more paint than others and take a bit longer to dry. A rainy day can slow down the drying time.
Q. Can you mix your own colors?
A. Absolutely. But I have found it's next to impossible to make a good purple, so just break down and buy it. To make the periwinkle color mix medium blue, white and a teeny bit of violet.
Q. How do you stamp on fabric with bleach?
A. Hot Potatoes is happy to announce that we sell a product made specifically for bleaching color out of fabric. And while we have used household products in the paste, time has shown that these products have so much bleach that the fabric will break down quickly.