Fabric painting is an art form that allows you to take your creativity to the next level. By creating your artwork on fabric, you bring your designs to life, enabling them to be worn as clothing or incorporated into engaging, tactile art pieces.
If you really want to create outstanding fabric paintwork, however, you’ll need to have the best fabric paints to work with.
Luckily, there are plenty of diverse fabric paints currently available through online retailers and art supply stores, so no matter what kind of project you’re working on, there’s sure to be a suitable fabric paint out there for you!
Start your search for the perfect fabric paint today with our list of the 5 best fabric paints on the market.
Short on time? That’s no problem! Here’s our top choice: Castle Art Supplies 3D Fabric Paint Set
- 24-color set
- 3D effect
- Permanent in 72 hours
- Includes 3 brushes
- Instructions included
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Castle Art’s 3D Fabric Paint Set is one of the best fabric paint sets available for creating textile art that really stands out.
This fabric paint set features 24 individual colors in 29 ml bottles.
Including multiple shades of pink, blue, red, orange, and green, plus black, white, and grey, this set contains an entire rainbow of colors to meet all your artistic needs! You can also dilute any of these colors with water if you wish.
These paints are all non-toxic, meaning that they’re safe for use by children and adults alike.
They are also quick-drying, so you won’t have to wait long to iron your design into permanence. The paint is safe for laundering once it has been left to set for 72 hours.
One of the most exciting aspects of this fabric paint set is that it can be used to create 3D effects. As the paints dry, they expand and seem to pop right off the fabric surface!
You can even control what kind of effect your paint creates to an extent by cutting the plastic nozzle at different points. This will alter the flow of the paint and allow you to create thicker or thinner lines.
Although these paints are, first and foremost, fabric paints, they also work very well on other surfaces, including glass and wood.
Along with the paints in this set, Castle Art provides 3 bonus brushes to sweeten the deal.
Not only do these brushes contribute to the set’s excellent value for money, but they also mean that you can start using your new fabric paints immediately when they arrive even if you don’t already have a brush handy.
Instructions are also included to help you use these paints as effectively as possible.
- 24 colors
- 3D effect
- Safe to wash in 72 hours
- 3 brushes included
- Includes instructions
- Some variation in paint consistency
Another very popular fabric paint is the JAC1000 Textile Color Fabric Paint from Jacquard Products.
These fabric paints are available in individual colors, in bottles measuring 2.25 oz each. You can, however, also purchase these paints in sets of 6 or 8.
The sets are organized based on color scheme; for example, you could select a 6-color set of primary colors or an 8-color set of earth tones, depending on the requirements of your project.
Jacquard Products’ fabric paints are of excellent quality and, unlike some other fabric paints that have an unfortunate drying effect on the fabric to which they are applied, these paints leave fabric feeling soft and supple.
Because of the spacious bottle openings with screw-on lids, these paints are really easy to apply with a brush in a way that allows the painter total control over the amount of paint used.
Once the paint has been applied and left to try, it can then be ironed onto the fabric to set it properly.
However, it should be noted that these paints are not permanent and will eventually wash out if laundered.
Therefore, these paints are only suitable for projects that require temporary painting or artwork that will not be laundered.
- Available individually and in sets
- Wide variety of colors
- Leaves fabric feeling soft
- Easy iron-on method
- Not permanent
Crafts 4 All truly has produced an art supply that makes craft and creativity easy and accessible with the 24-color fabric paint set!
The 24 stunning colors in this set include every color in the rainbow and many more, enabling complete and unrestricted artistic freedom.
Priced very reasonably for a set of so many quality fabric paints, the Crafts 4 All paints are also odorless and non-toxic, making them safe for use by children and people with sensitivity to strong smells.
These paints are multipurpose, so although their primary function is as fabric paint, they can also be used with stunning effects on other surfaces, including canvas, glass, wood, and ceramic, amongst others.
Additionally, because of the paint bottles’ squeeze-applicator design, the Crafts 4 All fabric paints are very easy to apply and can even be used to create 3D as well as 2D effects.
Some customers, however, have commented on the fact that the consistency of the paints is a little thick, slightly compromising precision at times. The results are long-lasting and safe to launder.
Also contained in this set are 3 brushes, so beginners can start experimenting with their new paints straight away, and seasoned painters can enjoy the peace of mind and flexibility of extra brushes in their artistic toolset.
- 24 colors
- 3D and 2D effects
- Non-toxic and odorless
- Easy application
- 3 brushes included
- Affordably priced
- Consistency is slightly on the thick side
If you’re looking for a good-quality budget option for fabric paints, Arteza may just be the brand you’ve been searching for.
As a company, Arteza prides itself on producing high-quality art supplies for budget prices.
In addition to the 24-color set, which is the best value for money out of all the options, you can also purchase these paints in sets of 14 or in single, 60 ml color bottles.
The colors are vibrant and highly pigmented, including 18 classic colors, 4 neon colors, and 2 metallic paints. They are suitable for use on a variety of fabric surfaces, from canvas to leather.
They’re also fast-drying and very durable, although they keep your fabric feeling soft and natural. And if that all sounds too good to be true - it’s not!
These paints are also AP-certified non-toxic, so they’re suitable for children and everyone else.
Once fully set using the iron-on method, these paints are completely safe to wash and will remain permanent.
The only real problem with these fabric paints is that the consistency is very thin, which some users don’t like because, unless you’re opting for a translucent effect, full coverage requires many coats.
- 24 colors
- Maintains fabric softness
- Very thin consistency
Tulip paints are used with enthusiasm by artists all over the world, and with this Soft Fabric Paint Kit, you’ll be able to create the incredible, long-lasting fabric art you’ve dreamed of!
A set of these Tulip fabric paints contains 10 29.5 ml paint bottles of different colors, featuring rainbow colors as well as classic black, white, and brown shades.
These paints can be used on fabrics of all types and colors and, once dried for a period of 72 hours, they become fully permanent and are safe to launder in the washing machine.
Although they initially have a slightly drying effect, this lessens over time.
The consistency of the paint is easy to work with, and while perhaps slightly on the thick side, it can easily be thinned out with a small amount of water.
While the paints themselves are excellent, the set as a whole loses points of the design of its bottles.
Unfortunately, the bottles seem to be filled excessively so that opening the containers becomes quite a messy process. Moreover, the seals of the paints are easy to damage, causing the paint to dry out.
- 10 colors provided
- High-quality paints
- Good consistency
- Permanent after 72 hours
- Poorly-designed packaging
Best Fabric Paint Buying Guide
Fabric paint isn’t one of those products where you can buy the first version you find online and hope for the best.
Using the wrong fabric paint for your specific project or preferences can result in a lot of wasted material and money in addition to disappointment.
This is why we’ve curated this buyer’s guide so that you can go into your purchase feeling confident that these paints will work for you!
The colors of the fabric paints on offer are probably the first thing that will catch your eye, and if you already have a plan for a project in mind (or even a project underway!), this is likely to be one of the most important factors to you.
If you’ve already started your art piece, you’ll need to find colors that match or at least compliment the colors you’ve been using so far.
If you have an idea of the project, you’ll want colors that contribute to the image you have in your head. Even if you have no idea what exactly you want to create, you’ll still be looking for colors that appeal to and inspire you.
Something that you’ll need to look for in fabric paint colors regardless of what stage you’re at in your project development is pigmentation. Your fabric paints should be highly pigmented to ensure that they continue to stand out against the fabric as they develop and absorb into the material.
The best way to determine whether a fabric paint is sufficiently pigmented is to check the product reviews because photography lighting combined with the layer created by the packaging can distort the real color of the paint slightly.
The colors should also be safe for laundering, especially if you’re planning to paint on clothes or other washable items.
However, please bear in mind that most washable fabric paints will still need to be left to dry and set for a certain amount of time before they can be washed.
Different fabric paint brands will have different application processes, with some being more flexible than others, so this is something to think about before and during your search.
Some paints, for example, as designed to be squeezed directly onto the fabric, while others work better with brush application.
Fabric paint bottles are usually either squeeze-on or feature screw lids that can be easily removed. Every artist will have a different preference, but there are definitely advantages to both types of bottles.
With a squeeze bottle, for example, it’s often possible to cut the applicator to different lengths to achieve different line thicknesses and styles. However, it’s quite easy to squeeze out too much at once with this method, especially if the consistency is either too thick or too thin.
Bottles with lids can be easier to work with in terms of judging how much paint you’re using, and it’s easier to dilute the paint if needed. Unfortunately, these bottles can also be messy, especially when overfilled, and also require the use of a brush or other applicator tool.
Part of the application process, of course, is the setting procedure, which is normally done through ironing. There are normally specific instructions provided for this process, which we’ll get into soon (see below) so be sure to pay attention to these for best results!
Not all fabric paints are permanent, so make sure to double-check the longevity and durability of a paint brand before purchase.
If you’re making canvas-based fabric art, for instance, longevity as it is related to laundering probably won’t be very relevant to you.
If you’re painting a t-shirt, however, you will presumably need to wash it at some point, and unless you want your paint to last only for a specific event or period of time, you’ll need to ensure that the paint is permanent and safe to wash.
Some paints will need to be left to set for a period of 72 hours after drying or ironing before they can be laundered. Make sure you adhere to these instructions if they apply, otherwise your work is likely to suffer in terms of longevity and you may find it washing away prematurely.
Unfortunately, there are many paints currently available on the market (fabric paints included) that aren’t healthy or safe for use due to their chemical makeup. Some of these paints are even toxic, and therefore, unsafe for children to use.
We’ve made sure to prioritize fabric paints on our list that are non-toxic, and where possible, even odorless. This means that most of the paints we’ve featured are safe to be used by children and those with chemical sensitivities.
However, toxicity status is not always made clear by manufacturers, so if you have any concerns, please contact the seller directly to ensure safety.
Occasionally, manufacturers of fabric paint sets will include some extra accessories alongside the paints themselves.
Any enthusiastic artist will understand the importance of always having the perfect tools for the job, as well as the importance of having tools to spare, so these accessories are definitely value-enhancing additions.
Probably the most frequently included accessory with fabric paint kits is a brush or a set of brushes. Brushes are an especially useful inclusion for fabric painting beginners who might not yet have bought all the tools they need.
If this applies to you and you’re eager to start on your project as soon as your paints arrive, we definitely recommend choosing a fabric paint set that includes brushes as part of the deal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use regular paint on fabric?
The term ‘regular paint’ is quite broad since there are so many different types of paint available on the art supplies market. For example, there’s acrylic paint, watercolor paint, oil paint… the list goes on.
However, the bottom line is that using any kind of paint other than fabric paint on textiles is unlikely to yield the professional-looking, long-lasting results you’ve probably been hoping for.
Fabric paint is specially formulated to adhere permanently to the fabric onto which it has been applied through a combination of drying and ironing.
Paints designed for hard surfaces such as walls or paper don’t have this same adherence when it comes to fabric and are likely to come away in the first wash cycle. What a waste of your beautiful work!
Furthermore, regular acrylic or oil paints won’t have the same visual or tactile effects as fabric paints. For instance, many fabric paints are formulated to create a 3D effect as they develop and dry, which is not something you will easily achieve with other kinds of paint.
Ultimately, you’re the artist, so it’s entirely up to you. If you’re creating a fabric painting project that won’t need to be laundered or ironed once it’s finished and you feel that a regular paint brand will work best for what you want to achieve, go for it!
However, in the vast majority of cases, you will achieve the best results with specifically-formulated fabric paint.