Recently I bought some Golden High Flow acrylics to experiment with. These are not the same as Golden’s Fluid Acrylics which are slightly thicker in consistency. The high flow acrylics are like Liquitex and the FW Daler Rowney acrylic inks I have become so fond of painting with.
The number one reason I bought the High Flow Acrylics is to try using them on fabric because they are permanent when dry. The FW’s are water resistant, which means fabric painted with them can get wet after it’s dry, but it can not be washed. Personally, that’s not a problem for me because my work is strictly wall art, but I have students who also do wearables that like products that will also hold up to washing.
I painted several pieces of fabric with the high flow acrylic inks and found the colors were bright and behaved very much like the FW inks.
Next I tried using the inks with my hand carved stamps, and got nice crisp images just like I get with the FW’s.
The next series of tests were for wash ability.
First I tore a piece of painted fabric in half and washed one half with a bit of dish soap about 3 hours after the paint had dried. There was noticeable wash out and fading of color. The wash out was likely due to the fact that the high flow acrylics have a drying retarder added to them to remain workable for 30 minutes before creating a fixed dry paint film. The workability in that case is more applicable to working on other substrates than fabric, so if you were working on canvas or a board, colors would stay wet longer for more blending options until it sets up after 30 minutes.
The next painted sample I let sit for 48 hours before washing. I tore the fabric into several strips, soaked one in warm water, the next I ironed before soaking, and the last I washed with dish soap. I used dish soap mainly because it was handy at the sink.
All the strips retained their color pretty well, I think there was a tiny bit of wash out in intensity from the unwashed piece, but hardly noticeable. The extra drying time really seemed to make a difference. I don’t think you need to wait 48 hours before washing, but letting fabric sit for 24 hours is probably a good rule to follow. I would not ever put an acrylic ink painted fabric through a washing machine cycle, but I think with the Golden inks painted fabric would be safe to be gently washed by hand.
Golden High Flow Acrylic Inks are more expensive than the Derwent and Liquitex brand inks, but they come in 1 ounce, 4 ounce and 16 ounce bottles, and like most products you get a break on larger size bottles. The prices also vary considerable depending on pigments, with some costing nearly double, but when it comes to paint sometimes those pricier colors are worth it.
The colors are all intermixable, so you can buy a few primaries to start and have a great range of colors to experiment with. The High Flow Acrylics can also be used with any of the other mediums in the Golden line. I would also feel very comfortable using them with textile mediums like Jacquard’s colorless extender for use on fabric.
Overall, I think the Golden High Flow Acrylics are a great new product and I’ll be adding them to my fabric painting arsenal and look forward to painting lots of fabric with them in the future.