Thread Painting Technique – Fun Of Painting On Fabric!

A DIY post on how to make abstract fabric painting using techniques of thread painting. This post also covers the tips for creating a skilful work.

Hello Friend!

I hope you remember the green sari I painted. Ms Deepa Prabhu, an awesome fellow blogger of mine, who writes in her awesome blog Random Photography, had requested for a detailed post on the techniques. So today’s post is to elaborate the techniques I have used to paint that sari. Wait, I did prepare for all the techniques used in my sari. But, at the last moment I felt, the post would be lengthy for a beginner and hence, I have limited it to one technique – that is thread painting.

Thread Painting Technique

 This is a fun-filled abstract painting technique that is done using a thread.

Thread Painting - Effects On A Synthetic Sari

Thread Painting – Effects On A Synthetic Sari


Difficulty level: Easy

Skill level: Basic

Time taken to design a square feet area: About 5 minutes

Design Application: Almost on anything! Kerchiefs, Stoles, Kammez, Salwar, sari, Blouses, Bedspreads, Curtains and so on!


Desired Fabric (Pre-washed and ironed)

Fabric Paint

Paint Brushes or tooth brush

Thick Cotton Thread

Waste Paper or a thin card board

Thread Painting - Materials Required

Thread Painting – Materials Required

How to Make Thread Painting?

1. Load the cotton thread with fabric paint using a paint brush or a tooth brush.

Thread Painting - Loading Cotton Thread With Fabric Paint

Thread Painting – Loading Cotton Thread With Fabric Paint

2. Spread the pre-washed fabric on a newspaper covered table. Newspaper absorbs any extra paint and it also protects the table from paint. Place the paint loaded thread randomly on the desired area of the fabric.

Thread Painting - Cotton Thread Lightly Loaded With Fabric Paint Laid On Pre-washed Fabric

Thread Painting – Cotton Thread Lightly Loaded With Fabric Paint Laid On Pre-washed Fabric

3. Quickly cover it entirely with a waste paper (or a thin card board) as shown. Apply pressure using one hand and pull the thread lightly with the other hand.

Thread Painting - Press Loaded Cotton Thread On Pre-washed Fabric and Pull

Thread Painting – Press Loaded Cotton Thread On Pre-washed Fabric and Pull

4. Remove the paper. Just watch how an amazing abstract thread painted design is formed. Repeat this method several times at different areas. I made a design as shown below.

Thread Painting - Some Striking results

Thread Painting – Some Striking results

Some of the random thread placing ideas for thread painting are shown below. They are real fun! Just place, press and pull!

Thread Painting - Some Ideas For Placing Loaded Thread On Fabric

Thread Painting – Some Ideas For Placing Loaded Thread On Fabric

Tips For Achieving Best Thread Painting Results:

  1. Always check with a sample fabric prior to design with the actual fabric.
  2. Try pulling from different directions. Watch how interestingly the designs are formed, unexpectedly.
  3. Different fabrics act differently. Delicate designs form in thread painting technique. This is effectively formed on cotton, silks and any other fabric made of natural fibre. Synthetic fabric produces a different result as in the green sari shown. Try varying pressure and direction of pull. Choose the one you feel good.
  4. Fabric paint must be of medium thickness for better results. Try different thicknesses of paint and varying loads of paint on the thread. Again make choice.
  5. Try with different threads of different thickness. Semi-absorbent threads result more exciting textures.
  6. Creativity has no boundary. So, try anything your own. For example, double colour effects can be tried by applying two colours in different areas.

Now, tell me, was this DIY useful? Will you try thread painting technique? Feel free to leave your comments on this post. They are valuable for me. If you face any difficulty in commenting, e-mail me at

Take care!

Bye until the next post!

Follow Tantu for updates: FB, G+, Pinterest, Linkedin, Bloglovin and IFB 🙂


A nature lover and dreamer who expresses herself as an artist, fashion designer and blogger. Persued B.Sc fashion design at Karavali College (Mangaluru University 2003 - 2006) with first rank. Former lecturer for fashion designing at Gloria College, Puttur for five years (2006-2011). Blogger since 2013.


  1. I’ve done this on paper to make greeting card inserts…and the sari you painted for your sis is very beautiful…lovely…

    • Oh! Great! Yes, we have been doing thread painting on paper in childhood 🙂 Impressions created on paper is really very good.

      Thank you, glad you like the sari I had designed 🙂 You are so kind! Hope you had a pleasant time in Tantu! TC! Visit again!

  2. Thank you very much Sindhu for sharing this 🙂 Was waiting for this post, You have explained it in very wonderful way. I am surely going to try this. Just one query- if some precautions need to be taken for fabric color while washing?

    • Pleasure is all mine, Deepa! Thank you! Hope it comes out nicely!

      Sorry, I haven’t given the aftercare instruction in the post. You may just follow the instructions given in the paint bottle. That is, after painting, you may iron on reverse after 24 hours or just wait for 72 hours for washing. It is always suggested to iron on reverse.

      Hope it is clear now! Keep visiting! TC!

  3. That’s truly beautiful, and so clever. Thank you for posting.

  4. Love this post!

    Have a wonderful day.


  5. This is super cool and doesn’t seem easy at all 😀 .. but like you said it is easy i must try it. The pattern of lilly like flower is super. How can we get this ?

    • Thanks a lot for your time for Tantu, Afsheen! Glad you believe my words 🙂 So, I hope you have tried it when I am replying you back:) (Sorry for that…) The lily like flower is obtained by giving an S-twist to the yarn 🙂 So, how was the outcome?

      TC! Keep smiling 🙂

Your words make my day! Thank you!