Is Coloring on Fabric like Coloring on Paper?

This is a continuation of my discussion in my January 24, 2022 newsletter. As I mentioned then, there is not a simple, straightforward answer to the question of “Is coloring on Fabric like coloring on Paper”. 

Another big difference between paper and fabric is its overall structure and composition.

Let’s look at paper first. Paper is made out of various kinds of fiber. Regardless of the content, paper is made up of connected fibers. That connection is created during the process for producing paper.

We could dive very deep into how paper is made, but I want to stay with the basics. Historically, paper has been made from many different fibers. Today, it is created from mainly two sources, wood and recycled paper products.

The process of creating paper involves pressing which creates its structure. The key difference between paper and fabric is that structure.

Let’s now look at the definition of fabric…

Fabric is structured very differently than paper. Other than bonding as a process to create fabric, all of the other processes result in a surface that is intertwined. That is a very different surface than the connected structure of paper.

Other than paper that is structured to be laced together, the surface of most paper is much more solid in comparison with fabric. That surface is the biggest reason why coloring on fabric can be so challenging.

The next time I cover this topic, I will go into more detail of the structure of fabric. Hopefully that will help you understand why it can be a challenge when coloring with pigments. 

I offer other workshops that are related to coloring on fabric using pigments. Most often these workshops are sponsored through Guilds or Shops to a group of interested people. Or they are taught to groups in my studio in Emporia, Kansas.

I am working on creating both On-Demand workshops and Live Virtual workshops that can be taken by individuals. I will keep you posted when these are available.

One workshop in particular must be done in person. It is called “Coloring on Fabric”. I provide a large variety of pigments for attendees to try on fabric.  Sort of a “try before you buy” kind of thing.  This is a wonderfully fun half-day workshop with lots of laughter and experimentation. I can do this for guilds or a group can come to my studio in Emporia, KS.  

Shari J took this workshop in my studio in Emporia, Kansas in 2021.  She provided the following testimonial. Thanks for the wonderful feedback Shari!


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