Fabric Painting – How To Enhance Your Painting With Acrylic Fabric Medium And Gel Medium

If you are just starting out with fabric painting, you probably haven’t heard of these two helpful tools that experienced artists rely on to make painting easier and to create better looking painted pieces. They are called fabric medium and gel medium, and you will be happy when you get to know them.

What are acrylic media?

Fabric medium and gel medium are coarse liquids made of the same type of acrylic polymers that go into acrylic paints, but without the pigment that gives the dyes their color. They look dull when wet but colorless when dry. Everyone has a different role to play in enhancing your fabric painting.

What is a fabric medium, and how can I use it for painting?

Fabric medium serves several useful purposes in fabric painting:

  • Acrylic fabric makes paint thinner or thicker without affecting their color.
  • Slows down the drying time so you can mix the colors without worrying that they will dry out before you finish.
  • Prevents the fabric from hardening when the paint or ink dries.
  • When the dyes are diluted with water, the blending of the fabric medium reduces the bleeding of the dyes.
  • When you paint thick or heavy fabrics such as canvas, the fabric medium helps the paint to penetrate the surface so that you can get good coverage without first rubbing the surface.

How much fabric medium should I use?

To mix colors or increase the wetting time, mix medium 1: 1 with acrylic paint. Add more paint to get a more opaque look, and use more medium to get a more transparent effect. You can apply the medium directly to the fabric to match the colors.

When you use thinner paints with water, mix fabric medium 5: 1 with fabric paint to reduce the color bleed.

What is gel medium, and how does it help in fabric painting?

The gel medium does exactly what the fabric medium does: Like the fabric medium, it increases the drying time of the acrylic paint or ink, giving you a longer time to work on the painting and complete your color mix. Is The gel medium also serves many other useful purposes in fabric painting and textile arts. Gel Medium comes in many different thicknesses and glass or matte finishes. To use the gel medium:

  • Glue the paper or material to the collage fabric.
  • Create a permanent protective layer for collages or paintings that is UV-resistant, water-resistant, and non-yellow.
  • Seal the pores surfaces before painting them.
  • Make any fabric fusible on its own. Just coat the back of the fabric with a thin, gel medium coat, let it dry, cut the fabric to the desired size, then use a press cloth to iron the gel-coated fabric into the background fabric.
  • Use as an alternative to Jesso for painting with acrylic paint on canvas. Coarse gel media will show your brush strokes and help create a 3-D imposto effect in your painting.
  • Transfer images from paper or transparency to fabric.

Where can I buy Fabric Medium and Gel Medium?

Acrylic mediums are available anywhere at art supply or craft stores.

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