Working with textiles

Painting textiles

Paints that are used on paper can also be used on textiles. However, if the fabric item produced needs to be washed, then fabric paints should be used and the manufacturers’ instructions followed regarding the fixing of the paints.

The children can experiment with ways of attaching the fabric to be coloured securely to the table top by either masking tape or pins or by stretching the fabric to be painted on a frame to stop the fabric wrinkling when painted.

There are a range of different pieces of equipment that can be experimented with on paper before being used on fabric and these include bristle brushes of different shapes and sizes, sponge rollers and sponge brushes to create textured effects. A sprayed effect can be created by using a spray diffuser filled with 60% paint to 40% water. Other items such as nailbrushes and toothbrushes can give similar effects when coated in paint and ‘flicked’.

Most of the techniques are suitable for pupils across the primary school. It is the application of skills, finished article and teacher expectation that will vary according to the age of the pupils.

3D Paints give extra effect to certain pieces of work. They are available in 4 types, glossy, glitter, pearl and puff and when dry they have a three dimensional texture. They are easy to use yet quite expensive and they should therefore be used for small areas, adding detail to patterns. Pupils should discuss their design with an adult in order to justify their use.