How to Glaze Cotton Fabric

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Glazing cotton fabric for a home decor or interior design project will give your fabric pattern a soft, luxurious sheen. The fabric finish normally is associated with upholstery fabrics and often is used for slipcovers, curtains and draperies. Light-weight glazed cotton fabrics also can be seen in dresses and sportswear. Although the fabric glaze finish is applied at factory level, by working with the right coating and textile mediums, you can give your fabric a lustrous sheen and feel.

Things You'll Need

  • Glaze finish/spray coating
  • Fabric brush
  • Acrylic paint
  • Textile medium
  • Paintbrush
  • Three-dimensional fabric paint
  • All-in-one sealer

Place your cotton fabric on a clean work surface. Select a well-ventilated area. If your fabric has visible fibers, it is best to take a lightweight brush and comb through the fibers. For example, if there is visible pile, brush the fibers in the opposite fabric grain direction. You will feel a slight rough texture surface.

Select your glaze spray finish. Pre-wash and dry your fabric. Spray an even coating. It is best to spray with the direction of the fabric grain and toward the raised fibers. This will allow the coating to adhere underneath the fibers for an even finish. Add an extra coating running along the grain for the fibers to properly set. Read the instructions for the suggested drying time.

It also is important to note that once you apply the glaze spray coating, you will not be able to wash the fabric.The higher the gloss, the stiffer the finish. If you are applying it to upholstery fabric for your indoor furniture, select it for a decorative piece not meant for a high-traffic area or wear and tear.

To add a glaze faux-like finish, experiment with acrylic paint by blending in textile mediums. Mix acrylic paint with your textile medium in order to transfer the acrylic properties to a washable fabric paint. There are specific 2:1 ratio parts that each product requires and suggests. The mixture will dry flexible when applied and will avoid cracking. Brush the mix on your fabric in long, even and smooth strokes going with the grain of the fabric. This option will give you a coated look to your cotton fabric. It is important to read all product directions. Brush and test your mixture on a piece of fabric scrap prior to applying to your project fabric.

When working with three-dimensional fabric paint for a shine finish, check that the adhesive is for fabric. You also can opt to use an all-in-one sealer, which dries clear for decorating your fabric and leaves a soft, sheen finish.

It is important to note that glaze is generally applied as a fabric finisher at the factory level. If the glaze does not have a resin agent, the glaze will be removed after laundering. Glazes that are made with a resin are permanent.

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