Although standard acrylics and printing mediums will get your design printed onto your fabric, they have a tendency to sit on the surface of the fabric. Once dry, they can create a ‘crunchy’ or very solid feel. However, fabric inks that have been specially formulated for printing onto textiles have a soft handle, which is much more comfortable when printed onto clothing.
Good brands of fabric inks will offer you a brilliant range of beautiful colours that don’t fade in the wash, well worth the added expense once you’ve put all that effort into printing your unique fabrics.
My favourite is Permaset Aqua and Permaset Supercover. The Aqua will print onto light coloured fabrics, but you’ll need the supercover if you want to print a light ink onto dark fabric. These inks are environmentally sustainable and have excellent durability. No other ink compares to the vibrant pigments – they’re a real pleasure to work with.
We use a lot of these inks from Creativ Company in class for screen printing. The colours tend to come out slightly lighter than the Permaset if you’re block printing, but for screen printing (where you’re using more ink) they work really well. These are slightly more affordable than the Permaset and you can buy a huge range of colours.
Once you’ve finished printing, leave your inks to fully dry and then follow the heat setting instructions on the back of the bottle so that the colour will stay put during washing.