No 47 – Instead of adult colouring books – Fabric Colouring-in Design – Discussion and evaluation

Yes, Fabric Colouring-in Design is more creative and productive than Adult Colouring-in Books!  

Although, yes, it might be a bit easier to start working with/in colouring books. 🙂


Dear friends of Your Colourful Mind,

Today, we finish our excursion into the field of fabric colouring-in design, with a brief discussion and evaluation of the experiences and findings we made along the way.

Some weeks ago (24 March 16, see post No 30), we suggested the introduction of a “new” relaxation method: “Fabric Colouring-in Design”.


Fabric Colouring-in Design is a special fabric painting discipline

which focuses on the creation of designs on items of fabric or apparel by

  • first drawing/painting patterns or illustrations on the fabric, and
  • then colouring them in.


Fabric Colouring-in Design intends to offer an attractive alternative to Adult colouring-in Books.

The idea to define a new orientation within the field of fabric painting was based on our discussion of the pros and cons of fabric painting and adult colouring books.

Adult colouring books are so popular

because many stressed people value colouring-in as

  • a kind of therapy. – It helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels. And it seems to be especially well-suited to people who struggle to benefit from traditional relaxation methods such as deep breathing or meditation.
  • an opportunity to reduce the hectic of our digitalised lives. – By getting us away from constant multitasking and requiring concentration and focus it increases our mindfulness.
  • a tool to develop our creativity. – It allows us to unleash our creative impulses even if we are not naturally good at art. We also don’t need a special qualification or artistic training to start colouring-in.
  • a practical hands-on activity. – It offers us a sense of satisfaction from creating something with our hands and which we can see and touch.


Fans of colouring-in describe the activity as fun and playful, as something that takes you back to a childlike state. It is easy to pick up crayons and not difficult to fill in the lines. (And if you veer outside the lines, it’s no disaster.)

Although the discussion about the beneficial effects of colouring-in among psychologist, therapists and other experts is controversial, without final and shared insights,

there is general agreement that colouring-in is a relaxing activity.


Fabric Colouring-in design is very relaxing, too, and it is more creative and productive than Adult Colouring-in Books.

The objective of Fabric Colouring-in Design is

  • to combine the relaxing effects of colouring-in
  • with the creative and productive effects of fabric painting projects.

The different steps of fabric colouring-in, compared to colouring-in books:



Which of the two colouring activities is “better”?

Fabric Colouring-in Design

of course, is not “superior” to Adult Colouring-in Books. But it might be the preferred choice

  • if we wish to design and produce something unique and
  • if we are prepared to arrange the necessary working space and fabric painting equipment.
  • => If our intention is to
Relax creatively and productively (with colouring-in on fabric).


Adult Colouring Books,

on the other hand, are the better choice

  • if we don’t have much space and can’t assign a working area to our colouring work, or
  • if we wish to be completely flexible and work at different places.(Books and pens can easily be carried around and been used in different surroundings: at home, or on the bus, or in a cafe shop.)
  • => If we wish to
Relax flexibly and easily (with colouring-in on paper)


Different ways to realize design ideas on fabric

As soon as we have decided to focus on Fabric Colouring-in Design projects, we have a huge range of different techniques and tools which we can use to create the design on the fabric.

We have worked with these options so far:

  • Using templates for tracing patterns/illustrations onto the fabric (post No 33)
fabric painting - mandala traced on t-shirt
post 33 – examples 2 – mandala no 3 traced from adult colouring book onto t-shirt with fabric marker
  • Using stencils for transferring patterns/illustrations onto the fabric (post No 34)
fabric painting - stencilling pattern onto t-shirt
post 34 – idea no 3 – patterns stencilled with textile markers on t-shirt
  • Using stamps for creating patterns/illustrations on the fabric (post No 36)
fabric painting - stamping on tote bag
post 36 – fabric colouring-in design No 4 – stamping patterns on tote bag
  • Using templates for developing ideas for free-hand drawings of pattern/illustrations (post No 38)
fabric painting - free-hand design on tea-towel
post 38 – colouring-in tea-towel – with paint brush and acrylic paints


Fabric Colouring-in Design as a new (or at least special) way to practice fabric painting will remain important to us, we will continue to discover and discuss suitable ways to create colouring designs on fabric.

But we also plan to learn more about and to experiment with other fabric painting techniques (those which don’t focus on creating a design on fabric which can be coloured-in).

Have you subscribed to our blog already?Make sure that you don’t miss any  of our future posts so that you can join our discussion at any time. 


Next time, we will give an overview of all newly upcoming series of projects and of all topics we wish to discuss and learn about.

Have a good time,

signature - Margot



One thought on “No 47 – Instead of adult colouring books – Fabric Colouring-in Design – Discussion and evaluation”

  1. Hi Margot,

    that is a very useful summary of some of the activities in the past. I look forward to your next blog and all your creative ideas.

    Best Ferdie

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