Tsukineko All-Purpose Ink makes fabric-painting easy. Learn All-Purpose Ink (API) basics by painting a scarf, using the Colors in Bloom Set.
First wash a Light Jersey Circle Scarf, no fabric softener.
Then, iron the fabric (for more controlled paint strokes). Do not iron out the scarf’s stylish rolled edge. It will eventually re-roll, hiding any design you apply.
Cover your work surface with absorbent paper, e.g., opened-up brown paper bags. Over that, lay out the scarf right side up, best you can. Being a circle, it will not lie completely flat:
Use the pink and green inks from the Colors in Bloom Set to paint large swirls and sweeping lines. (If you prefer, first sketch these with a Jacquard Auto Fade Pen.) Shake ink well. Get a bullet pen from the set, and dip its soft tip into one of the inks, which will soak up into the barrel:
To apply API, gently draw the tip across the fabric. Have fun making large extravagant lines. Do not worry about your artistry: See the bulleted list below. Flatten out sections of the scarf to draw on as you go. It also helps to use your non-painting hand to stretch taut whatever bit of cloth you’re painting. Make thick lines:
The kit’s packing material is also a convenient pen stand:
This scarf was my first encounter with Tsukineko’s API. I’d assumed ink would spread willy-nilly, allowing me very little control, but got a great surprise. The ink stayed where I put it, it didn’t run! (I am utterly thrilled!)
However, that meant painting really thick lines was taking too long. I tried a fabric brush instead. Painting went quickly, and I discovered API is great with brushes. But use the pens if you prefer.
I left plenty of white space so that, next, I could put detail in it.
Detail: Use purple ink in a bullet tip for smaller swirls and sweeps. Then fill in more white space with even smaller swirls and sweeps, using blue ink in a pointed tip. If you want, sketch the detailing first with the Auto Fade Pen.
Don’t try to heat set API if it is soppy, but it needn’t dry completely. Cover the ironing board with a cloth. Ditto the scarf. Use a dry iron, hot as the fabric will allow (this scarf is 100% cotton), for approximately 2 minutes per side. Then let the scarf sit about a week to cure, after which it is washable. It is easy to make this circular scarf flat for ironing, by doubling it: Note photo below.
To heat fabric sufficiently for setting API, break the cloth down into segments a bit larger than the surface of your iron. Iron that segment for two minutes, keeping the iron moving (so you don’t burn the cloth). Repeat that process til that whole side of the cloth is ironed. Then do the same on the other side. In other words, as it was explained to me: Measure the segment to be ironed for two minutes as a bit bigger than your iron, which you move round and round, an inch to all sides for two minutes.
Clean brushes with soap and water. The disposable pens can be reused after being washed with soapy water.
If you’re last name isn’t “Picasso,” or you find fabric-painting intimidating, this is your project:
* API is easy to use.
* When worn, a circle scarf’s imperfections are hidden: A lot of the ink you apply becomes covered by folds.
* The way a circle scarf hangs on you requires sweeps of color and general impressions, not precision or exactingly “correct” designs.
* Since the scarf is forgiving of mistakes, it’s great for learning on, but still ends up a wonderful accessory.
* All your colorful sweeps and swirls make a scarf happy. It will thank you by looking pretty when you wear it.
Have fun! And here is my finished scarf, can you tell how happy it is feeling?