Do you know how to fix watercolor crayon on fabric?

Name: Kathryn


Holbein watersoluble crayons

Water Soluble Crayons

After coloring a picture with these crayons on paper, brush on water for a watercolor effect. Not suitable for decorating fabric for use in quilting.


Avery light t-shirt transfer

Avery Light T-Shirt Transfer

Create your own iron-on transfers using an ordinary clothes iron, most software, your inkjet printer and Ink Jet T-shirt Transfers. Color Shield formula ensures crisp, long-lasting image quality.


Jacquard flowable extender 2.25 oz. jar flowable extender

Jacquard Colorless Flowable Extender

Flowable Extender is a medium-bodied clear acrylic fabric paint base.


Country or region: US

Message: Do you know how to fix watercolor crayon on fabric? Mordant? I do not want to use spray fixative on fabric to be used in a quilt that will be washed. Thank you in advance.

The best way to fix watercolor crayon on fabric is to protect it by framing it behind glass. Only keeping moisture away from the design altogether will permit the color to persist in the fabric long-term.

There is no way to permanently fix watercolor crayon on fabric like a real dye, so that it can be safely washed, without losing or at least blurring the design. Mordants will do nothing at all to help. Watercolor crayons are designed to dissolve in water instantly, turning the original crayoned design into something that looks more like brushed-on watercolor paints.

There is one way to make the color from the watercolor crayons last longer on fabric after it is washed, but it will not preserve the design. If you obtain a colorless clear acrylic fabric paint, such as Jacquard's Neopaque Colorless Extender, you can paint it heavily over both sides of the fabric. This will become permanent after it is allowed to dry and then heat-set with a hot iron or in a commercial dryer, as per the manufacturer's instructions. Unfortunately, since the watercolor crayon is (obviously) water soluble, painting on it with a water-based clear acrylic will change the design significantly; the color will run as the colorless fabric paint comes into contact with it. It will not preserve the design in its original dry form.

A better way to make a quilt with your watercolor crayon design exactly as it now exists would be to copy it photographically. What you will need to do is have the design photocopied onto an iron-on image transfer (you can pay to have this done at a copy shop), or scan it into your computer yourself and use it to print onto permanent inkjet iron-on paper. You can then transfer the design to fabric with a hot iron, or get a t-shirt print shop to do the job more professionally using their larger and hotter heat transfer press. You can also buy fabric that can be printed directly with your inkjet printer. Designs prepared in this way, like designs made with fabric paint, sit on the surface of the fabric, instead of soaking in like a true dye, so heavy use and repeated laundering will eventually result in wear to the design. They will work fine for quilts that will be washed only occasionally and with appropriate care.

To make permanent designs on fabrics to be used in quilts, be careful to start with materials that can be made permanent and washproof. There are many different alternatives, including Pentel fabric crayons for natural fibers, Crayola fabric transfer crayons for fabrics that contain at least 50% synthetic fibers (polyester or nylon), permanent fabric markers, Shiva Paintstiks, watercolor-effect fabric paints such as Dye-Na-Flow and SetaSilk, thicker fabric paints such as Jacquard Textile Colors, and of course true dyes, such as the fiber reactive dyes that are the best choice for cotton quilts, including Procion MX and Remazol dyes. Lower quality true dyes that run in the wash can often be made adequately color-safe by using a commercial dye fixative such as Retayne; these dye fixatives work well on Rit all-purpose dye, and on many commercially dyed fabrics, but cannot be used to make the pigments in watercolor crayons more permanent.

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Posted: Monday - May 02, 2011 at 08:53 AM          

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