Art on cloths: revamp your 'little-plain-black garment' in a few easy steps.
Power to illustration! It is under everybody's eyes, even for people not-so-keen on fashion, how high-end designers are recently applying illustrations to their collections. Julie Verhoeven, Ignasi Monreal, Jeff Koons, Robert McGinnis etc. Are the most popular names contended by the biggest brands. My friend and correspondent from Milan, Paperdoll, has tried for us to paint a Katie Rodgers' inspired design on plain black trousers that needed revamping.
Firstly, and especially if you are are a beginner, choose a tightly woven cotton-cloth garment which allows easier and deeper absorption of the paint. If you are looking for a more noticeable contrast effect, a black garment would be your best option. There are many types of paint that you can choose from: the quickest thing is to look for advice at your local art-shop (if you live in London, many of them are located in Soho) and ask for their selection of water-based textile tints. Sometimes the colour that you are looking for is not available, but you can alternatively source it in the acrylic-paint or all-purpose-paint sections.
Once you are happy with your colour range, make sure you have a variety of brushes with different types of toes in order to obtain different effects: flat brushes for wider strokes and script-liners for thinner, precision lines. If your artistic skills are really limited and you are panicking at the idea of holding a brush you can squeeze the colour out of easy-to-use tubes (that can also give a more 3D effect) or even adopt pens; although sometimes colour hardly flows and can dry up very quickly.
In order to apply paint onto your garment you would need to use a solid surface (preferably wood) underneath and protect it from paint transfer with a thick cloth. Insert also a layer of paper inside your garment to avoid soaking to the under-layers. Oh: another tip! Don't forget to buy a "fabric medium" which is like the softener for your laundry. You apply it on the portion of fabric you want to paint with the effect of making the paint drying softer and the colour spreading smoother and richer. For a striking bright effect, let your first layer of paint dry for a few minutes then apply a second or a third.
As YouTube star April Numamoto shows in her popular videos, precision and detail are the key to success. Therefore, it will be best to pre-sketch in chalk the contours of your design. Once the art-work is finished you can erase the chalk signs which are still visible using a clean brush dipped in clear water.
And what a better way to finish your creation adding light and dimension with crystals? The only usable ones have to have a flat back in order to apply evenly the adhesive gel. Precision tweezers will help you positioning the piece in the right spot. Paperdoll, for instance, used them to highlight some details on the girls' faces, corsets and other details on the gowns (see post gallery). Another easier way is to buy hot-fixing crystals which require a thorough iron pressing and could also come in pre-set designs on plastic sheets.
Final recommendation: if you are clumsy as I am, please, don't attempt washing your garment, ever! Bring it to professionals or to your experienced mother. If you really can't avoid it, the trick is to let the freshly painted garment dry for at least five days and then press it strongly with iron or let it delicately "twirl" for twenty minutes in your drier. Avoid washing machine and prefer cold or warm water hand-washing.
I can't wait to see you in action! For more inspiration see post gallery by Paperdoll and follow the links here below.
Katie Rodgers: https://paperfashion.net