Fabric paints/pens for handwriting?

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#1 gules on 2 years ago

This might be a weird place for this question (mods, please move me somewhere better if I'm in the wrong place!) but I'm looking for recommendations for fabric paint/markers/pens that can be used to sign BLACK fabric. We're talking about an autograph on fabric.

I've been looking into it and Liquitex Fabric Medium + Acrylic seems to be pushed a lot, but I wanted to know what other people thought. For a signature, would a marker-style or a brush-style pen be better? I can test these out, but it might cost me quite a bit with all the variations, and if anyone can give me any input and especially personal experienceon any of these, I'd be so grateful.


#2 Penlowe on 2 years ago

If this is a tool you are handing to other people to use, pen over brush. Not everyone is familiar with brush tips and could unwittingly damage it instead of performing the pretty autograph you want.
Liquitex makes a paint pen. I've only seen them at fine art suppliers (not arts and crafts stores) but usually sold in singles. While I don't think it's specifically available as a fabric paint pen, their acrylics are good enough to go on fabric and stay put, it'll get brittle with age though.
You could experiment ahead and doodle on some fabric, let it dry fully, then brush fabric medium over the top and see if that works.

#3 CapsuleCorp on 2 years ago

Honestly, even paint pens are not going to be a one-stroke-and-done on black fabric. I've used metallics and white both on black fabric and it took two or three passes over the same spot before it really was visible enough. The fabric also mattered, if it soaked up the paint quickly and bled a lot it was much harder to get a controlled pen line.

But Penlowe has an excellent point that if you're having other people do this, or you're doing it on the fly/at the con/as part of some performance, pens are easier to give to newbies to write with. That said, I really have doubts that you're going to be able to just scribble a name on fabric and have it stand out with only one pass. On the other hand, if you're doing this yourself, to create a thing that when dry will be part of the costume, go for an opaque paint (Jacquard Neopaque for white or light colors on black) and the thinnest thinline brush you can find.

#4 kenshin-chan64 on 2 years ago

You might want to go with a silver Sharpie for the person to use to sign with. Then after the fact you could carefully go over it with a more permanent fabric paint that you could then let lay out and dry.

#5 Penlowe on 2 years ago

I'll add: if you are getting a celebrity to sign a tee shirt, don't plan on wearing the shirt ever again, especially if you are paying for the autograph.
Wearing the shirt and washing it will break down the ink/ paint over time no matter how good your pen or what you do afterwords with it.

I worked at Michael's as a framer for 5 years, I've seen a lot of autographs on all kinds of media. If it's valuable, either monetarily or sentimentally, it should be preserved instead of worn. No that's doesn't mean you have to spend hundreds on custom framing, just keep the media acid free and the displayed item out of direct sunlight and it'll go a long way towards preservation.
Scrap book paper that you can get in single sheets is nearly always acid free, put that between your item and the cheap frames cardboard backing/ insert and hang it proudly.

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