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Honour the Child

Blog Archive

BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Monday, 11 February 2008
People often have concern about whether painted clothing items will stand up to the wear and tear of children. and whether dyes will fade or run. Good questions!

The answer depends on your materials and process ~ quality makes a difference.

For dyeing and painting all of our fabric and blanks are pre-treated with a special detergent to remove all traces of sizing, stain treatment etc. that may repel or affect the processes to follow.

We dye with professional Procion dyes which are fiber reactive~ meaning the dye molecules bond with the cotton/ natural plant fiber and create a permanent bond. No fading, no running. After dyeing we triple wash all items with the same detergent to suspend the chemical reaction and rinse away any undeveloped colour. We do recommend that folks wash brighter items (especially turquoise and black based) in an old pillowcase the first couple times because excess dye may be shed that was not, for some reason, washed away in the cleaning process. We use unscented products throughout the whole process.

For painting we use high quality acrylics and a fabric medium. We cure all of our pieces for a minimum of 24 hours before carefully heat setting the designs. We suggest that folks lay or hang the items to dry and press inside out if needed. Otherwise, the items are wash and wear, just like any cotton clothing.

Of course, over time, the items will show signs of wear, just like mass produced children's wear. Paint will fade a little in brightness and may show mild seaming, but does not crack or peel or affect the overall design.

I have pictured one of my first creations being worn by my daughter a year ago, and again this past Sunday... you can see that the painted surface is still in excellent shape after a year of regular wear (maybe 40 washings?) and as an added bonus, the playdress is still a wearable item with a pair of leggings!


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