Working with Tulip® Fabric Paint
Tulip® fabric paint is (obviously) a fabric paint, it comes in a variety of styles and colors. The styles include Crystals, Glitter, Slick, Puffy, Glow in the Dark, and Metallic. It comes in a bottle that can be stored right-side-up or upside-down, and you apply it to fabric by squeezing it directly from the bottle. Because of this, all of the styles of paint are three-dimensional (they stand up off of the fabric). Just how much they stand up from the fabric depends on how hard you squeeze the bottle, how fast you move it, and how far away from the fabric you hold the bottle while applying it.
All styles take four hours to fully dry, and seventy-two hours before they can be put through a washing machine. When washed, the garment must be turned inside-out. It is recommended to pre-wash the fabric, without fabric softener, before painting it.
The four-hour drying time is probably the worst unavoidable thing about this paint. Very rarely, if you do a very thin layer of paint, it will dry faster, but it's probably best not to risk it.
Holding the bottle is a problem for me, but that may just be because I have problems with the muscles used to do that, so I'm not sure that you can blame the company's design on that. I've also been using it for about an hour straight at a time.
The colors dry darker than what they appear to be in the bottle, but not so far off that it alters the overall look. They also appear on dark (black) fabric without darkening the look of the paint.
I've only used the Slick and Puffy styles of Tulip® fabric paints. The Slick is pretty much just like any other brand of fabric paint I've used. The Puffy paint puffs up and expands when it's steamed after drying. I of course bought it specifically for this reason, but it also helps the paint (specifically white) appear more vibrant on darker colors.
A bottle of the Slick paint, like what's pictured on the right (1.25 FL OZ / 37 mL), costs a little under two dollars, and covers enough fabric to be worth it.
Overall, fabric paint is fabric paint to me, but this is still a good brand of fabric paint. It's easy to use and you get what you expect out of it.
For some tips and tricks to painting with fabric paint, check out this FAQ page, written by Duncan Enterprises, makers of Tulip® and Scribbles® Fabric Paint Products.
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