I’ve always liked the idea of fabric printing and painting, but being a lover of a somewhat more muted color palette, I’ve more often than not been put off by the limited color choice of readymade fabric products.
With this method, you can create any color you choose simply by mixing it with acrylic textile medium; a product that makes acrylic paint suitable for use on fabric and is fixed by heat. Awesome, right?
I wanted to add a little something extra to a perfect dove grey linen cloth I recently found, so, taking inspiration from the potato printed wall I did in my daughter’s room (you can spot my favorite colors there, too) I decided to mix up my colors and use the method once again to create this simple, scalloped printed table runner. —Sarah of Lapin Blu
– Acrylic Paints (four colors work best)
– Acrylic Textile Medium
– Plain Cotton/Linen table runner (I bought mine from H&M, but if you’re handy with a sewing machine, you could also make this)
– Large potato (try to choose a relatively smooth one. If you use more than four colors, cut enough shapes for each color)
– Sharp knife
– Mixing Bowls
– Old Spoon
– Newspaper/Old sheet/foam board (anything to protect your worksurface – I pinned my runner to foam board, but you could also tape it down)
– Old T-shirt/muslin/fabric
1. Using the sharp knife, chop your potato in half, place flat side down and cut in half again. Dab dry with old cloth.
2. Lay out your fabric and secure in place as above, or your chosen method.
3. Mix your paints. Textile medium should be mixed in equal parts to paint. For example, I used two spoons of black acrylic paint to two spoons of textile medium (one spoon of each for the other colors). You can mix them all at the same time as they will stay wet more than long enough for you to complete the project, even a more complex design, or if you choose to cover the entire runner.
4. Paint your color onto the potato and place onto fabric (I found this gave a better result than dipping the potato – you may want to experiment on paper first). Ensure you apply a fairly heavy and even pressure. Lift and repeat across your fabric until you complete your design.
5. Once you have completed your printing, leave to dry and then iron. Use a high setting with no steam. I’d suggest using some old fabric or muslin on both sides for the first run (painted side up), then I would use the old fabric underneath only, and iron over again, this time directly on the reverse side of the runner.
Don’t worry too much about the pattern being perfect – I started at one side on the first run, which didn’t quite fit to the other side, so I simply started at the opposite side on the next line to make it look deliberate!