Fabric Colours

Fabric Paint Reference Topics

Physical Side-Effects

Are you experiencing headaches?
Do you have trouble breathing?
Do these symptoms get worse after or during your fabric painting?
Does your paint have a strong solvent odour?

If you have answered yes to these questions then you have been sold an industrial screen printing ink, incorrectly packaged as a crafter’s fabric paint.  Your product is not necessarily water based because you clean up with water.  Today's technology allows us to make emulsions of solvent and water.  Most industrial inks contain up to 15 % white spirit.  Constant exposure to this solvent will have severe consequences on your health.

This vapour attacks the lining of your brain and lungs as well as the central nervous system. Manufacturers should, by law, warn you of the health hazards of their products.  Have you been made aware of this potential hazard or were you, like thousands of other painters, under the impression that you where working with a non-toxic, water based product?
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Problems with Registration, Bleeding and Creeping.

Do you have problems painting a solid line?
Does your paint bleed out over your outline?
Are you spending most of your painting time trying to hide those registration mistakes?

This problem is known as bleeding or creeping.  It is the most common problem experienced by fabric painters, irrespective of the brand of paint they use.  To solve the problem we need to understand it first. Most likely there is some excess paint on the surface of your fabric. This paint cannot be absorbed by the fiber, so it moves on the surface.

The cheapest way to solve this problem is to adjust your technique.

  • The first thing you need to do is to not load your brush as heavily as you do. Apply less paint to your fabric.
  • Secondly, if you are colouring in with the paint, start well within your contour line.
  • If bleeding should still occur, it will bleed up to the line.
On the other hand, you could be painting on a highly synthetic fabric.  These fabrics absorb less paint, so the creeping is exaggerated.  If this is the case, you require Dala Anti Bleed.  Two teaspoons of Dala Anti Bleed in a 250ml unit of Dala fabric paint will stop the creeping.  You should now be able to achieve perfect registration on highly synthetic fabrics.
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  Heat Setting

  • The industry standard for heat setting is 150 degrees centigrade for 3 minutes.
  • Most crafters use an iron.
  • This is an effective method, provided you are sure to cover the entire surface area.
  • Set the iron at the maximum heat that your fabric can handle.
  • Pay special attention to the areas where you have used the Dala Metallic Fabric Paints or the Dala Fabric Liners.
  • A popular heat setting tool for crafters is their kitchen oven.
  • Set your oven to 180 centigrade.
  • Switch it off once it reaches the required temperature.
  • Fold your project and place it in a baking tray. (fold it with the colour inside)
  • Pop the project in the oven and leave for about 5 minutes.

The following are signs that you did not Heat Set correctly:

  • You have an even loss of colour across the entire painted area after washing.
  • Your painted surface re-hydrates after the first wash (the painted surface becomes slimy after the first wash)  The paint has allowed water back into it and you need to heat set it again to force this water out.
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Dala Fabric Mediums

Dala fabric paint mediums are designed to add value to our existing range of fabric colours. They will allow the crafter to use our paint on all natural, synthetic fibers and their blends. The secret to successful use of our fabric mediums is to isolate your problem, determine what medium is used to solve the problem and follow the instructions on the medium container.

All the mediums have clear, accurate instructions, but the most important instruction of all is to test on a sample swatch. Do not use a product on an important piece of fabric until you know how to use it and what to expect. Opaque Medium

Dala transparent fabric colour comes in 30 dazzling transparent colours. This means that they cannot be painted onto dark fabrics. We do make Opaque fabric paints but the aim of the mediums is to allow the painter to work with one tub of paint on all fabrics. Add Opaque medium to transparent fabric paint, mix thoroughly and you can now paint on dark backgrounds. The more medium you add the more opaque your colour will become. The addition of the medium will, however, lighten the colour. Test your blend on a sample swatch of the dark colour. Do this while you are mixing, to find the perfect blend. This blend will vary from colour to colour and from fabric to fabric.

Dala Opaque medium can also be used to add elasticity to your paint. If you are planning to paint on a highly elastic fabric, ad the opaque medium at a 50/50 ratio; again testing on a sample. The opaque medium, unlike traditional opaque paints, cures with a soft comfortable handle. This makes it the ideal medium to use when you wish to paint onto dark bedding for instance. Traditional opaque paints have never been successful on bedding because of their uncomfortable handle. Follow the heat setting instructions as per Dala Fabric Paint.
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Anti Bleed Medium

Any problems you have ever had with bleeding, creeping, or registration will be solved with the addition of this medium. Add no more than 5 grams to every 50ml of Dala Fabric Paint. Stir or shake well and your contour lines will be in perfect registration. 

You will now be able to paint on all the fibers that, in the past, have been impossible to use because of registration problems. 5 Grams per 50 ml (1 teaspoon) is the maximum loading recommended. It may not be necessary to load to this level, so first test your paint on the fabric and only load the amount of Anti Bleed needed for correct registration. Overdosing this product could result in the gelling of your paint.
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Waterproofing Medium

There are lots of home recipes for waterproofing fabric – most of them with varying degrees of success. Dala Waterproofing Medium will provide your fabric with a professional, permanent water resistance. Paint the product onto the fabric; allow it to dry and heat set at 150C for 3 minutes. 

This medium will not leave your product with a shiny stiff finish, but with a comfortable soft handle. It is ideal for place mats, table cloths, umbrellas and awnings and can be used on all fiber.
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Other Fabric Products

When using our product range always observe good housekeeping and common sense to avoid any unwanted mishaps.  To achieve optimum results from our fine product, take note of the following:

  • Close container after use to avoid drying.
  • Clean brushes in warm soapy water.
  • Supervision of young children is advised
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Printing with Dala

Screen meshes of 43T to 49T are suitable for all the Dala Colours.  Insure that there is enough paint on your screen to allow the standard 2 passes of the squeegee.  The first pass of the squeegee will ensure that the paint penetrates into the fiber and weave of your fabric, while the second pass will polish and level your print. Three passes of Dala Opaque is recommended for Dark Fabrics.  Using a coarser mesh, such as a 35T, will also facilitate improved opacity.  Dala Stencil Glue can be used to secure your stencil and fabric while printing.  This adhesive can only be used on waterproof stencils and not on the paper variety.


Correct curing time and the temperature cycle is important in order to insure maximum rub, scrub, wash and dry-clean resistance of paints and mediums.

Transparent, Fluorescent, Metallic Paints, Liners, Waterproofing Medium and Sun Colour

  • 150’C for 4 to 6 minutes  (iron on cotton setting)
  • 120’C for 10 minutes (iron on wash and wear setting)

Opaque Paints
  • 180’C for 2 to 3 minutes  (iron on cotton setting)
  • 150’C for 4 to 6 minutes  (iron on wool setting)
  • Ensure your paint is completely dry before curing.
  • Cure at 135’C for 3 to 5 minutes.
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