Get More Precise Fabric Painting Results with this Ingredient

I’ve heard of using aloe vera gel as a natural healing remedy for skin conditions. But did you know clear aloe vera gel can be used to achieve finer painting results on fabric?

fabric painting by judy coates perez
Painting on fabric by Judy Coates Perez.

Art quilter Judy Coates Perez does much of her painting on fabric with Tsukineko inks. These inks are not water-soluble, so she uses clear aloe vera gel to change the intensity of the ink color or mix colors. Also, if you use a light hand when adding the gel, the aloe vera helps prevent the ink from spreading. After the ink has dried and been heat set, you can rinse the aloe vera out of the fabric.

Here are some of Judy’s tips for painting on fabric with inks:

1. Use pfd (prepared for dyeing) fabric or prewash fabrics to remove any sizing or finishes.

2. To begin, use an eyedropper or similar tool to remove small amounts of ink from the bottle and drop onto a paint tray. Squirt about a teaspoon of aloe vera gel next to it. Add a small amount of aloe vera gel to the ink to lighten the color. For very light tints of color add a small amount of ink to the aloe vera gel and mix together.

3. If the fabric begins to get too wet with ink the colors may bleed, if you notice this happening, stop painting in that location and work in another area and come back to it when the fabric has air dried.

4. Heat set the painted image with an iron (fabric press cloth on top) to make the image permanent. You can then go back and paint on top of the image with more ink and it will not bleed into the previous heat set color.

With Judy’s fabric painting techniques, and some practice, you can achieve more precise fabric painted quilts.

You’ll find Tsukineko inks along with many other fabric painting and surface design tools and supplies from the Quilting Daily Shop.

P.S. Do you have painting tips to share? Leave a comment below.

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Fabric Painting & Dyeing, Quilting Daily Blog

3 thoughts on “Get More Precise Fabric Painting Results with this Ingredient

  1. I have ink that is over 5 years old. As long as it is closed, it appears to last forever. The same is true with generic aloe vera – clear – purchased at a pharmacy for skin care.