Designing Fabric -Results of the Good, the Bad, and the not so Pretty

Are you thinking about designing your own fabrics?  Experiment, experiment and experiment some more is my advice to you! Keep experimenting until you find a technique and the design you’re looking to create.  Let’s take a close look at some of the good, the bad, and the not so pretty details of my fabric design experiments.

The good news, is that I found a colorwash painting technique and scrunching method to use as my yoga bag fabric!  A fabulous book called Fabric Painting with Cindy Walter has saved me lots of time and agony in creating my textile designs.  I’ve down-loaded and read four other books, but this one is my favorite!  It’s for beginners like me, and she shares 11 techniques!

The picture shown here is my first colorwash result!  I think it’s perfect for my yoga bag…What do you think?


I hand painted my yoga logo on the fabric to add that finishing touch to what will be used as the body of my bag. I will use this same technique for the pocket and the strap as well.  I had to make a few adjustments before I got to this point, but I’m ready to try this again!


I started by drawing my yoga logo first to the fabric with a fabric marker and added the Jacquard water based resist over the markings.  I thought this would leave the fabric white and give me a watermark look…


That was a bad idea, and not the best way to start the project.  If you’re using the colorwash painting technique it will possibly wash away the resist lines.  (Most of my resist lines especially in the center of the design was washed away with the colorwash paint technique that requires lots of water.)  I know this is not a good look to begin with, but you’ve seen the gorgeous end result!


Here’s a look at the fabric after a couple of hours of drying time as I continued to scrunch the fabric into a ball and let it dry.  I wasn’t so sure of the pattern and wondered why I started this technique with three paint colors instead of two. Maybe I’ll try this resist method again using less water around the logo???


The not so pretty truth is that I’m tired of being a slave to fabric manufactures and the limited supply of my favorite textile prints. Sold out and discontinued are the words of the past.  I’m focusing on the future, and experimenting with different painting techniques. I admit that I am not a painter, and I also admit that I can’t stay in between the lines in the paint by numbers too.  I’ve never felt comfortable just painting a wall, but after experimenting with the Batik technique in Malaysia I gained confidence knowing that the wax will hold my paint and design in place.


I ordered the Batik wax, melting-pot, tjanting tool, broad cloth, jacquard fabric paint and I’m all set right?  Wrong, it’s summer I’m traveling, and there hasn’t been a good time to stet up the melting pot or use a sterno stove to melt the wax. The melting-pot I purchased is not deep enough to gather the wax in my tjanting tool, and it didn’t allow the wax to remain hot enough to flow through my tjanting tool.  I will definitely try this technique again during the winter.

I was so happy when I did my research and found the water based resist by Jacquard that can give you the same results as the Batik wax.  I started out so precise and detailed with my designs that I needed to order bottles with tips to apply the resist lines for the intricate designs.

bottle tips

The not so pretty details left me with this incomplete design on my first try! I’m not in any hurry to finish this design.  Maybe if I start over and make some better color choices this design would be great!


I’m still experimenting and learning lessons from the good, the bad, and the not so pretty details of designing textiles! I love to hear from you so tell me what you think….Will you give these techniques a try?

Stay tuned there’s more to come from LaCartera!




8 Comments Add yours

  1. rozbeads says:

    So great that you are always exploring and experimenting. Love batik fabric and that first colorwash is so calming.


    1. lacartera says:

      Thank you Roslyn! I can’t wait to try more designs.


  2. Rita Barakat says:

    I love the end result! Just like anything you have to try a few times before you get the hang of it! Well done!


    1. lacartera says:

      Thanks Rita! This definitely takes practice…


  3. carmen012 says:

    Keep at it! You’re doing great! I love what you have so far.


    1. lacartera says:

      I appreciate the encouragement! 🙂


  4. That is too cool! You’re doing amazing work!


    1. lacartera says:

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate your comment.


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