Painting a T-Shirt with Fastex fabric ink

Painting a T-Shirt with Fastex fabric and textile inks:
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fas fastex textile ink painting a tee shirt
Artist Fiona Appleton

Painting a T shirt is so easy and you have something great to wear at the end of it.  You can buy plain white T shirts incredibly cheaply, so painting on them is no more expensive than painting on a big piece of paper. 

You just can’t beat personalising your own designer clothes, and it’s much more fun, so much cheaper and about 1000 times more personal than buying a branded T-shirt.

You can get ideas from anywhere from the TV, off the web or from your kids’ latest favourite film release.
fas fastex textile ink

Preparation:Pre-wash the t-shirt according to the label instructions without softeners. When the t-shirt is dry iron it to smooth out any creases.

Cut a piece of cardboard to fit snugly inside the tee shirt to prevent the paint from seeping through to the other side. Insert the protective cardboard inside the shirt.

Place card inside the tee-shirt

Pin the t-shirt tightly to the card to avoid wrinkles and movement as you work. Wrap the back of the shirt in a piece of clean newsprint and hold in place with pins or tape so that only the area to be painted is showing. This will protect the rest of the shirt from any accidental paint splashes.

Painting Instructions:  There are three popular ways to paint t-shirts with Fastex. See Fastex painting tips.
1. Paint your design thinly by brush.
2. Stencil design painting.
3. Professional screen-printing.

Painting by Brush:
Draw your design with the Fastex textile pen or a yellow or a pale blue coloured pencil (These colours minimise the chance of the lines showing through the paint). The Fastex textile pen washes out of the fabric in the first wash. If a design needs to be traced, do this prior to mounting the fabric on the card. If outlining is required, use a permanent ink pen, like a laundry marker.

Try to apply thin coatings of Fastex evenly and smoothly without stopping your brush on the surface. Stopping with a loaded brush could leave blotchy patches. A flat paint brush is best suited to Fastex. A flat brush also makes it easier to 'join' colours edge to edge without overlapping.
Stencil Painting:
Copy, trace or draw a design on to a piece of acetate, paper or card. Carefully cut out your design and tape this to the t-shirt. Lightly press a dry sponge into the Fastex Ink. Then dab the sponge on to the stencil. Carefully lift the stencil off the t-shirt. Before using it again check that the back of the stencil is clean.

You can use the stencil about a dozen times. Designs that have basic geometric shapes and basic patterns work well with this method.
fabric painting screen printing fastex

Screen Printing: You will need a screen to print through. This is normally a fine mesh within a wooden frame that is custom made. Designs that require more than one colour are made and applied separately. This is a more professional approach. This type of screen will give crisp and clear results and you can use this stencil repeatedly.

Ideal for logos, words or designs digitally made. Ask you art supplier for details.
Prepare the t-shirt as per instructions above.

Place the screen on the t-shirt and hold in place with clamps or weights, making sure there is no movement.

Applied the Fastex Ink by a sponge, this forces the inks through the openings of the stencil thus printing the image on to the fabric. Thoroughly clean the screen before the ink can dry.

Hope this was helpful.
Tony Parker
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