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No 60 – Series: Fabric Painting Techniques – WET & DRY TECHNIQUES – Experimenting with salt

How to use ROCK SALT to create special painting effects on wet fabric

Dear friends of Your Colourful Mind,

Painting on wet fabric offers many different opportunities which are not available when working on dry fabric.

The last two posts discussed some of the special characteristics of wet fabric painting techniques:
  • Paint application tools such as paint brushes, sponge brushes and the many other objects which help us to apply the paint on the fabric, have different effects and create other results when used on wet instead of dry fabric. (see Post 58)
  • The paint colour-bleeding process on wet fabric needs some time to really show its effects. But as soon as the paint and the fabric are completely dry, we realize that on wet fabric the paint develops its own life. It doesn’t just stay where it was applied but moves into neighbouring areas on the fabric. (see Post 59)

We can assume that further specialties of wet techniques will show up as soon as we continue our painting experiments on wet fabric.

Before we do so, we briefly come back to an insight we made during recent projects:

Fabric painting doesn’t have to be an expensive activity.

Not everything we use for our painting projects has to be bought in a craft shop. We just need to look around us to find new and creative tools and objects.

The nature around us can deliver painting objects which we experienced when we used leaves as stamps in one of our recent projects (see Post 53).

And our kitchen actually can become a great supplier of fabric painting equipment, as we saw already when we did some nature printing on dry fabric, with fruit and vegetable stamps. (see Post 49 and Post 56)

Now, for our next wet fabric project, we go back into the kitchen and this time get some salt which should assist us to create special painting effects.

Using salt to create special effects – A painting method which only works on wet fabric.

Example 1

fabric painting techniques - apron - wet - sprinkling salt on wet painted fabric
post 60 – fabric painting techniques – apron – wet – sprinkling salt on wet painted fabric

I used a sponge brush to apply transparent paint onto an apron which I had sprayed wet before.

Then I sprinkled salt on some parts of the painted areas.

First, it didn’t have any effects.

fabric painting techniques - apron - wet - sprinkling salt on wet painted fabric - zoomed
post 60 – fabric painting techniques – apron – wet – sprinkling salt on wet painted fabric – zoomed

But, as this zoomed picture of a smaller part of the apron shows, then the salt started to pull the water out of the fabric, leaving little stronger coloured dots.

Example 2

fabric painting techniques - green apron - wet - sprinkling salt on wet spray-painted fabric - zoomed
post 60 – fabric painting techniques – green apron – wet – sprinkling salt on wet spray-painted fabric – zoomed

I took another apron and sprayed it wet again.  Then I sprayed it with green and pink fabric spray paint.

Finally, when the fabric and the paint were still wet, I placed some rock salts in a small area of the apron.

fabric painting techniques - green apron - wet - sprinkling salt on wet spray-painted fabric
post 60 – fabric painting techniques – green apron – wet – sprinkling salt on wet spray-painted fabric

This image of the apron shows that the sprinkles caused by the salt are not so easy to see. The effect might have been bigger if I had spread on a thicker layer of paint.

Example 3

fabric painting techniques - t-shirt - wet - sprinkling salt on wet painted areas - zoomed
post 60 – fabric painting techniques – t-shirt – wet – sprinkling salt on wet painted areas – zoomed

Here, I sprinkled a little bit of the rock salt on some areas of a still wet t-shirt on which I before had applied some fabric paint with a bigger foam brush.

The zoomed image shows that the salt creates little colour dots with stronger coloured edges.

fabric painting techniques - t-shirt - wet - sprinkling salt on wet painted areas
post 60 – fabric painting techniques – t-shirt – wet – sprinkling salt on wet painted areas

 

Summary of results and learning effects:

  • The salt has to be placed on the wet fabric immediately after painting it.
  • The fabric and the paint have still to be quite wet.
  • The water-pulling effects of the salt are better visible on a thicker layer of paint.
  • The salt leaves little dots with strong-coloured edges on the fabric.

In the beginning, things often run into an unexpected and sometimes unwanted direction.

But the projects above demonstrate that and how our try-and-error approach is a good way to bring us further on our learning path.

Over time, we will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of what might happen with our painting ideas under different conditions. 🙂

I am quite excited and looking forward to further experimenting with painting on wet fabric.

Please, share your work with us and send images of it and some background information by email to margot@your-colourful-mind.com.

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I wish you a good time,

signature - Margot

 

5 thoughts on “No 60 – Series: Fabric Painting Techniques – WET & DRY TECHNIQUES – Experimenting with salt”

  1. Hi,
    I have been following your blog for some time. Enjoy it but haven’t start painting on fabric. Your project images look nice. But could you publish some easy to do tutorials. for beginners. Thank you,
    Annie

    1. Hi there, found the posts on fabric paints interesting. But would appreciate more how to do instructions for different techniques like stenciling. thank you, Anna

      1. Hi Ann and Anna,
        thanks a lot for your comments! It help’s so much to get feedback!
        I understand that both of you would like to get more detailed instructions or tutorials. I will work on that! As a first step I have reorganized our Gallery where we collect images of all fabric painting projects published on Your Colourful Mind. Now you can search for examples of the different fabric painting techniques. If you click on “Stencilling Projects”, for examples, you get all stencilling project images listed and below each image you can click on the link to the post where it was published, to find more information on the project.
        I hope this helps a bit.
        I am also thinking about creating detailed tutorials. Another idea is to write a book about fabric painting for beginners.
        You see, – many ideas but no concrete plans yet. 🙂 I will keep you informed.
        Cheers,
        Margot

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