Painting lycra bodysuit : best fabric paint?

Archived Thread
Our site is currently being changed over to the new version. Everything you see is currently in read-only mode. Additionally, the layout and UI will not be complete until all sections have been re-enabled, so please ignore any layout issues (or bland-ness) at this time.
#1 Bombdoll on 1 year ago

I'm working on a costume [URL="http://undertale.wikia.com/wiki/Sans"]Sans from undertale[/URL]. He's essentially a cartoony skeleton so I was thinking of using a lycra bodysuit for the exposed bone-y portions such as legs, feet, hands, and neck. I'm experienced in painting on canvas, paper, vellum, and on non-stretch cotton/poly blend fabric. I am not experienced in painting on stretchy lycra/nylon.

I was planning on using a white suit and painting the details in black. I realize with stretch fabric painting its often advised that the fabric be stretched while being painted to keep it from flaking off once dry; I imagine most people paint at least some of the details while wearing the garment and then use something like cardboard or soda bottles to stretch the fabric while really blocking in the details when working with form-fitting garments like this. I was looking at [URL="https://decoart.com/sosoft/"]DecoArt SoSoft Fabric paint [/URL] to use since it seems to not require heat setting and has good reviews for flexibility and colourfastness. But is it good for stretchy synthetic fabrics?

TL;DR: Need to paint a white spandex bodysuit with black skeletal details. What fabric paint is most durable and effective for this task?

#2 Penlowe on 1 year ago

This is tricky. The fact that it's black and white makes it harder than if it were, say, red and yellow.
With the ratio of paint to fabric my first inclination is to say: no, paint white on black.
BUT it completely depends on the paint. If you get a dense, good coverage paint, paint white onto black. If that kind of paint is out of your price range/ can't get it, going with black on white may be easier. Then again you may find yourself painting it over and over and over... or living with mottled areas that show fabric color through the paint.

Either way you MUST test.

Personally I'd do applique instead. I do not think it would be any more time consuming than painting, nor would you have to worry about density or flexibility (applique with stretchy fabrics).

#3 Bombdoll on 1 year ago

Thanks for the input! I'm not looking to make [URL="https://www.thecostumeland.com/images/zoom/ml76630-skeleton-body-suit-men-halloween-costumes.jpg"]this kind[/URL] of a body suit. In fact, I won't be making it, I'll likely buy a zentai. I don't like that reductive looking skeleton with a ton of negative space in black, I'd rather have a white Bodysuit with the odd black outlining joints and bone groups like [URL="tumblr_o3a6im7pSE1ucx6qio1_1280"]this[/URL] n [URL="/e081244b7d60b67e9225d6bb3d923989/tumblr_o39xadDqsR1ucx6qio1_1280"]this[/URL] . Its cartoony without the crapton of negative space and looks more like the character. The density of the paint pigment will be less essential as the only significant solid black areas I can imagine are the spaces between the radius and ulna and also fibula and tibia. And its alright if it has a bit of a painterly look l, that doesn't detract from it in my mind.

Edit: whoops those links were not working. [URL="http://chiherahcosplay.tumblr.com/post/140177403382/all-done-sans-is-now-100-done-undertale"]This is what I'm after[/URL];
It kinda looks like a BJD tight tbh.

#4 Penlowe on 1 year ago

Ahh, I see. Yeah, black on white in that set-up is more logical. Still test your paints. Back of an ankle is a good area.

#5 CapsuleCorp on 1 year ago

Honestly? Fabric paint doesn't NOT stick to any fabric. Synthetic, natural, woven, stretch, don't matter, the paint always sticks.

With a stretch, you want to have the garment stretched when you paint it, so that the paint doesn't crack after it dries (#1 reason for paint cracking - it was painted when the stretch material was laid flat). Other than that, brand, type, whatever, doesn't matter. Jacquard's paints are much more opaque by nature, but I find that with enough layers any brand can be opaque enough. I'd only ever insist on Jacquard over Tulip if you were painting white on black.

#6 Bombdoll on 1 year ago

Thanks for the input! I've had good luck with tulip in the past so I'll give it a go, and if it doesn't work so well I know Jacquard is the industry standard. Just can't get it in physical shops where I live it seems.

#7 CapsuleCorp on 1 year ago

Yeah most shops don't carry it. I am suuuuuuper lucky in that a locally-owned craft shop here carries it (just the 10 basic colors of NeoOpaque only). I prefer it for my business projects but I'll use anything that's the right color for personal stuff. :D

#8 Penlowe on 1 year ago

Fine art stores, particularly the ones that are near colleges and universities, frequently carry Jacquard stuff. If you've got one in your city, try there. Depending on the school, university book store might carry it to.

#9 Scunosi on 1 year ago

I'll admit when I made my Sans gloves (opted against a full body suit since my torso would be covered by clothes and it'd make it easier to use the bathroom) I just used a Sharpie rather than fabric paint. And not even a fabric one...

It's since purpled and smeared a bit, but I've also since bought actual fabric Sharpies to use if I ever remake it. Are fabric Sharpies essentially just fabric paint condensed into a little pen for ease of use or do they work a little differently? I found using a Sharpie made it a lot easier due to how much more control you have over it, and I had no issues with the ink getting too thick or streaky like paint can.

#10 CapsuleCorp on 1 year ago

I can't speak to Sharpie brand pens, but I've used other fabric paint pens and I'm basically at the WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE level with them. They make pinstriping not just possible but fucking easy. The only real drawback is that I would never consider filling in large areas with them - it's as pointless as trying to color an 11x14 piece of paper with a crayon. The color would come out streaky like markers rather than filled in like a paint/brush, and you'd waste three or four markers doing what half a bottle of paint would do - and they're not cheap.

So, linework, great. Full color? Not so much.

#11 Scunosi on 1 year ago

[QUOTE=CapsuleCorp;5064323]I can't speak to Sharpie brand pens, but I've used other fabric paint pens and I'm basically at the WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE level with them. They make pinstriping not just possible but fucking easy. The only real drawback is that I would never consider filling in large areas with them - it's as pointless as trying to color an 11x14 piece of paper with a crayon. The color would come out streaky like markers rather than filled in like a paint/brush, and you'd waste three or four markers doing what half a bottle of paint would do - and they're not cheap.

So, linework, great. Full color? Not so much.[/QUOTE]
Ah, it's a shame none of the photos I have here show off my gloves more. I think I was able to fill in large-ish areas just fine, but nothing leg-sized since it was only up to my elbows. I know the set of fabric markers I bought after the fact came with one of those comically large ones but I'd have to test it to see if it comes out even or not. I'll try looking at my gloves when I get home to see if the larger black areas came out noticeably uneven or not though 'cuz I don't remember them looking that bad.

I will say you probably couldn't get a more gradiented, painterly look with markers though, unless you keep one that's about half-dry around. Another reason I went with them was because I was going for a very flat, sprite-like look.

Follow Cosplay.com