Washing Painted Denim

D

Daks

Guest
So pretty much the entirety of what I'm doing involves painting jeans and denim in not particularly intricate designs (yet) but I do want them to be as rugged as possible.

My first pair I did with a menagerie of various paints, from wicked to acrylics with airbrush medium to some other things, all black and white on an old pair of black jeans. I was really just messing around. After I realized I really wanted them I heat set them after a few days (one of the paints I used was a textile one). I started getting inquiries about sales so I did a test wash on them and a LOT of the black washed out on the gentlest cycle with a little bit of tide. I'm hoping this was due to the mishmash of paints rather than something that is a huge concern.

I went out and bought Spectra-Tex paints after seeing some reviews online about them being decent for the price and I wanted textile paint. I also bought the matte top-layer in an attempt to still keep the hold as much as possible. (It also helps that you can buy them locally in a pinch)

I haven't washed the spectra-texed jeans yet but I wanted you guys' advice on making sure things are really wash-ready, I suppose, or if I should tell customers that they are handwash or febreeze-only. I know denim is really susceptible to friction as a fabric.

For now I'm winging it but I thought at least I could drop a line in here and maybe save a lot of headache.
 
I haven't painted on denim before (though I want to now!), but I have used wicked paints on leather and done a few t-shirts. I used wicked paints, and createx matte top coat. I works great on the leather, I heat set eith a hair dryer on it's highest temp, and it holds up well is flexible, doesn't crack, and jackets etc that get chucked on bikes, the ground, in cupboards, hold up well, so friction wise think it should be ok. For T-shirts I use transparent base and heat set it to flatten the nap, and give the paint a base (helps with white on black), and then paint and again use the top coat, heat set with iron and chuck in the tumble dryer on high setting for good measure, and it washes well. Not sure if it would work the same on denim though, but if you have some scrap maybe do a few test runs of different methods.
 
My method of heatsetting is as Squishy explains-an extremely hot iron..I place some baking paper on the design, and really work the iron into it to the point I'm worried that i'll burn it (Haven't yet but to emphasise the point its not just a quick iron over it)..I then will turn the tshirt/pants etc inside out and run in a dryer for a full cycle at its highest heat..Then just to be safe, turn em back out the right way and hang in a good sun for the rest of the day..

I always recommned to my customers to wash the item that they turn it inside out and hand wash it..I always include a garment care sheet so it won't come back on me if they wash out the design and one point I do make is not to machine wash, even on a gentle cycle, or if they choose to do so its at their own risk..You can indeed machine wash them if heatsetted well but again it comes down to the risk factor..Why chance it..GL with your jeans...Oh and consider a base treatment aswell, especially for denim, it will help keep your colors a bit more vibrant as denim has a habit of really soaking it in..
 
My method of heatsetting is as Squishy explains-an extremely hot iron..I place some baking paper on the design, and really work the iron into it to the point I'm worried that i'll burn it (Haven't yet but to emphasise the point its not just a quick iron over it)..I then will turn the tshirt/pants etc inside out and run in a dryer for a full cycle at its highest heat..Then just to be safe, turn em back out the right way and hang in a good sun for the rest of the day..

I always recommned to my customers to wash the item that they turn it inside out and hand wash it..I always include a garment care sheet so it won't come back on me if they wash out the design and one point I do make is not to machine wash, even on a gentle cycle, or if they choose to do so its at their own risk..You can indeed machine wash them if heatsetted well but again it comes down to the risk factor..Why chance it..GL with your jeans...Oh and consider a base treatment aswell, especially for denim, it will help keep your colors a bit more vibrant as denim has a habit of really soaking it in..

Thanks for the advice. I'll probably end up telling people to hand wash inside-out and machine wash gentle at their own risk. I was planning on making a large tag with the info on it. As for the base layer, definitely. It really soaks in the white. My screen-printing and other skills all tell me to do lights first and then darks but the white shows up better over black paint than it does blue denim!

I'll do some more tests with my own pieces before giving that definite answer to customers.
 
Looks like even with the topcoat and a heat-set the paint still washes out in spots. I think it's through the back of the fabric. I've just put on my care tags "handwash only" and mentioned washing them as little as possible. That being said, I sent out my first order and feeling pretty happy about it.
 
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