In the first part of this post I wrote about finally making the decision to buy some tear away stabilizer, using the free motion function on my sewing machine to ‘draw’ some copyright free doodles I had sourced from Shutterstock onto white linen fabric I had in my stash. I did some slow stitch embroidery on one of the face designs. Here is a link to Part 1, in case you might have missed it. https://wp.me/p1WEqk-dUs
I wanted to do something a little different with the bird design. My decision is the focus of today’s post. Here is what the bird looked like once I transferred the design across onto the linen.
Just to recap, I had pre-washed the linen and attached some cotton batting to the back of the fabric prior to letting loose with the free motion embroidery.
It reminded me of a hummingbird and, as a result I wanted vibrant colour to inspire its completion. I came across a set of iridescent acrylic paints in TK Maxx before the summer. I thought I might try to use these shiny paints on the embroidered bird.
Before doing so, I needed to play with the paints so that they would work on fabric. I did not have a Fabric Medium in my stash so I did a bit of research online and discovered that I could make one out of a few household ingredients. So I thought it might be worth experimenting. The recipe, which came from Paint topics, https://painttopics.com/can-you-use-acrylic-paint-on-fabric/ called for equal parts vinegar and glycerine mixed with two parts water. I mixed the home made ‘medium’ and added it in equal parts to the paint.
The first thing I noticed was that the paint became very easy to apply. I was worried that the iridescence would be lost in the mix but the vibrancy returned once the paint had dried. Also, the black thread used when at the free motion embroidery stage acted as a barrier between the colours. The paint itself was absorbed into the top layer of the fabric – there was no soakage into the batting. I left the paint to dry out for about 5 minutes in between layers. The different colours sat nicely on top of each other. I then left the picture overnight to dry completely and then ironed it to heat seal it.
I am really pleased with the result. The cotton backing adds an extra dimension to the work as does the iridescence. The texture of the paint is similar to what might be found on T shirt prints. The only issue is, because this is an art piece (rather than a ‘functional’ one). I have not tried washing it but I am happy that it is suitable for art work.
My only disappointment is that I could not get all the creases out of the pre-washed linen fabric. Next time I might opt for a cotton fabric.
Have you ever used acrylic paint on textiles? Have you used it with or without mixing with a textile medium? Could you let me know how it worked for you.