Thursday, 12 March 2015

Tutorial: Making your own fabric

Printing your own fabric

There is something so satisfying about making your own fabric.   They are original,  you can make them in the colour you need and it isn't as hard as you thing to create fabric for all of your projects.  

Finished fabric
Light colours
Wet paint technique


  • Piece of white cotton fabric.  I usually cut mine to a fat 1/4 size (50cm x 55 cm)  I use old sheeting or new sheets on special
  • Textile inks
  • Plastic spoon (one for each colour being used)
  • container with water in it
  • container for mixing paints
  • Ice cream container lid  
  • printing materials.  I have used and old cotton reel,  bubble wrap,  a plastic ruler and an old plastic doily
  • Paintbrushes
  • Iron
  • scissors


1.  Cut fabric to the size of your choice.  I have cut mine to 50cm x 55 cm  (a fat 1/4).  Place on  a protected surface.  I have an old table with plastic on it.

2.  Choose a base colour.  I have chosen white.

3. Use one plastic spoon for each colour of paint so you don't cross colours

4.  Put 5 spoons of water into a container and add 2 spoons of paint to the water.  Mix well

5.  Pour the paint onto the fabric.  Using your hands work the paint into the fabric.  Scrunch it into a ball and roll around in hands to evenly distribute the paint.  It doesn't have to be perfect as all extra texture adds to the end result.  Don't iron the fabric at this point.  we want the fabric to remain wet for this project.

6.  Print on the fabric while it is still wet.  Mix up a light grey (white and black)  and take any type of cotton reel and print over the fabic

7.  Blend the shape into the white paint using your finger.  This makes the shape more subtle

8.  Mix up some light brown paint (equal portions of yellow, red and green.  Use white to lighten)  Paint onto hands

9.  Print hands all over the fabric. Then blend the print into the white paint.

10.  Scrape lines all over the fabric using the corner of a ruler or old credit card

11.  Paint a light grey paint onto bubble wrap print over fabric.  .

12. When the print gets to faint start adding more white paint.  If you add white paint to each print the grey it will get lighter and lighter.  This adds more depth to the colour on the fabric

13.  What the fabric looks like at this point.

14.  Chose a larger printing pattern.  I have used a plastic doily.  You could use a paper one that you would need to dispose of at the end of this project.  Paint a slightly darker brown paint on the doily. (yellow, green,  red and white)

15.  Print the doily over the fabric

16.  The finished fabric

17.  Press well with a iron

17.  The finished fabric.  

18.  Store your fabric in a drawer,  cupboard or in a recycled CD case.  I love old cd cases for storing fabric.  It keeps the dust off them and makes them easier to find.

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