Using acrylic paint on prefelt – the results

As I mentioned in an earlier post I have been experimenting with acrylic paint on prefelt. These are the results of my experiments….

This is what the paints looked like on the prefelt after ironing but before felting:

The effect of wetting out the prefelt before painting
Painting on damp felt saw the paint soak through the felt so that more of it ended up on the newspaper behind than on the felt itself. As it dried it also wicked across the felt. This might be useful for blending colours for a background but would be too unpredictable for most forms of painting. The wicking was most obvious with the red paint:

Thick vs thin paint
During felting more fibre migrated through the thin paint than the thick, producing a slightly paler colour in the thinner paints.

This is the sample after wet felting:

The thickest paint is uppermost in each block of 3 stripes, the thinnest paint is the bottom stripe of each block of 3.

Iridescent medium added to the paint
These are the top 3 bars in each column. This worked remarkably well and the sparkly flecks are particularly effective in the thicker blue paint

Addition of textile medium
These are the blue and red bars on the left, it has clearly made a big difference, especially the paint without the iridescent medium added (lower 3 bars in each column). The thinner paints have largely washed away during felting. It looks as though the iridescent medium has a similar protective quality to the textile medium.

Commercial fabric paints
All the commercial fabric paints have rippled during felting, however, the Deka permanent black and Silkcraft metallic silver have a flatter, more flexible finish than the Pebeo commercial paints.

Forgetting to iron fix before felting
As I mentioned in an earlier post, it appears that iron fixing is essential if the piece will get wet, without it the paint washed out during felting (or washing), even when textile medium was added. This was the result of felting without ironing first, the top sample was dry when painted, the bottom sample was damp:

Final thought
Having looked at how the fibres have migrated through the paint during felting I think this technique is best reserved for use after fulling / milling, although the rippling in the commercial fabric paints is rather appealing.

Have you used acrylic paint on felt or fabrics? Please feel free to post a link to your work in the comments section.

Numpty

I am kicking myself, I’m afraid I made a boob with the acrylic paint tests; after patiently waiting for them both to dry I completely forgot to iron them before I started felting. I am such a numpty :o(

The experiment was going well and I did discover that painting on wetted prefelt results in the paint wicking (bleeding) away from where you put it. And I confirmed that if you don’t iron the paint before washing, it WILL wash out.

This is the paint while it is still drying:

Once dry and before I messed up, you can clearly see how the red paint has “bled” in the lower sample:

After felting, the bars on the left of each piece are acrylic paint mixed with textile medium and it does appear to have protected them from my stupidity to some extent:

Back to the drawing (painting) board….