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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

I was wondering if anyone knew of some way to draw directly onto t-shirt blanks? I know that there are sublimation crayons and felt tip pens and this is exactly what I was looking for - the only problem is, a polymer content in the shirt is needed for them to work and I only have 100% cotton shirts.

The idea is to be able to give blanks to children who would then draw on them. Does anyone know of a product, like the sublimation crayons that will work on 100% cotton shirts?

I'm in the UK but any product would be a start!

Thanks to all

Annie
 

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Hi Annie,

I'm in Australia, but I have bought "t-shirt markers" before that work on 100% cotton, and have also bought t-shirt crayons. Most art & craft supply stores here sell these.

The issue I have with these is that they tend to "fluff" up the t-shirt and I find it's difficult to get clean lines. Also, the fabric tends to stretch/crumple while you're drawing (particularly with the crayons), unless you're very careful about how much pressure you apply.

In short...depending on the age of the child, I really would NOT recommend crayons (at least not the ones I used!). The marker pens could be OK though.

Don't know if that helps any...!
 

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Could you just use waterbased screen printing ink and a paint brush, then heat set it when they're finished? Not as easy to use as a pen perhaps, but very flexible... and as funtimesx said a pen/crayon is so hard to use on fabric anyway that a paint brush may not make things any more difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you to both for your answers.

funtimesx, I just can't seem to find these here, I'll have to look harder... I was wondering if they actually wash well or wether they're generally pretty rubbish?
I'd thought of the whole crumpling of the shirt thing so my way around it was a piece of cardboard to match the width of the shirt inside, keeping it taught, as well as temporary spray glue (like I use when screen printing shirts to keep them from moving around).

Solmu, that's actually a really good idea. I wouldn't be able to use it in this case though as it was for something resembling a market stall.

thanks again, Annie :)
 

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I saw some kids shirts (at JambaJuice here in the US) with black and white outlined drawings on them. The package included some type of ink that the kids could color in the drawing.

I think the package on these said that the coloring would wash out so you could show your creativity all over again. Not sure if you want your ink to wash out or not? If so, next time I'm at JambaJuice, I'll check it out for you.
 

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Rodney said:
I think the package on these said that the coloring would wash out so you could show your creativity all over again.
Hmm.. sounds like Marketing gone awry ;) What's the bet that the inks just aren't wash resistant, but still colour fast enough to leave a horrible stain...
 

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Some folks are sending packs of transfer papers to elementary schools and getting the kids to draw their pics on paper. Once the drawing is done, they collect the paper and just press to shirt. The main trick with this is "NO Text," or else you'll have a lot of backwards lettering on the shirts:)
 

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Hi Annie,

I do Fabric Painting on T shirts, 100% cotton is the best. Use DecoArt SoSoft Fabric paint (There are other brand of fabric paint). I use flat artist boards between the front and back of the shirt. With excess shirt on sides, top and bottom you tape it toward the back of the board pulling the fabric taught. When you are finished painting you have to heat set the paint with a dry iron. Some fabric paints have glitter with glue base and you wouldn't heat set those becaue it would melt the glue. These shirts can be machine washed but not dried in dryer. If you decide to use fabric paint, let me know I would be glad to answer any questions. Cheryl
 

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Hello Annie,

when I made custom airbrush-shirts in the past, I sometimes used the airbrush colors to draw outlines with a textile-marker. When the markers got empty I used them as brushes which could be easier than using a real brush, because of the feathering shirt ( I ironed the shirts before painting on also), you can color big areas in a pure tone even with a marker if you had a little training.

The airbrush colors for shirts are washable and you have to iron them into the shirt - lay something between the colors and the iron...

Have fun,

Ilja - Graffitineous
 

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I made some for a charity.
merloprinting.com/coloringshirt.htm

After coloring the shirt just allow it to dry over night, turn it inside out and iron it to make it permenant.

With my sons I didn't read the directions about the ironing. I just threw it in the dryer for a bit and it heat set it. His is the one in the photo. He wears it all the time and it's been washed a few times and the colors are still dark. A Little too dark actually, but my son has a heavy hand. He's a crayon breaker when he colors.
 

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Hi Annie,
Kath is right - drawing on t-shirts could be a bit frustrating, but with a bit of practice and some clever tricks like Cheryl suggested is very doable.

Outlining the design with markers and colouring it in with crayons looks nice. You get clean outline and can achieve some shading and blended colours with crayons.

Here in Australia we can buy crayons and markers in just about any craft shop :)
At the moment in my craft box I have:
"Fabric Markers" by Crayola
"Fabricfun" pastel dye sticks by Pentel
"T-shirt markers" by Fibracolor
Not sure if they list these products on their websites but if you will contact them - they might be able to help.


Good luck and have fun!
 

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Hi,
I know this thread is very old but I just found it. In the UK there is a brand of transfer ink called Paint Me which you paint onto paper and then transfer with a heat press to a sublimation T-shirt. Completely colourfast colours, range of 20 colours and lovely bright finish. www.paintme.info
 
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