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Using Brusho Sprays On Fabric

We are delighted to introduce the first of an ongoing series of articles by the fabulously creative Chris Gray of Mabon Arts. For updates when new articles and projects are available register free for the Empress E-Newsletter.

Onward to Chris’ article –

Using Brusho Sprays On Fabric

Most people tend to think of Brusho Paints & Sprays as being for paper projects, and while they are absolutely brilliant for sketchbook work (see the next 5 images), they can also be put to very good use on fabrics too.

C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic 1 C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic2 C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic3 C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic4 C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic5

Obviously, this method isn’t for those items that are going into the laundry…the Brusho will not be fast, but for “art” items – things that are (let’s be honest here) of little practical use but glorious to behold – Brusho paints and sprays are simply marvellous!

I tend to use Brusho on almost everything I do these days… sketchbooks…art books….tags…small art panels…and anything else I happen to be doing.

I love the way that I can use them to get the colour that I want and exactly where I want, when I want it. (It dries in less than 30 minutes on fabric but can also be helped-along with a hair dryer or heat embossing tool.)

View The Full Brusho Range

This is the process that I go through…

I use Empress Mills Medium Weight Calico for all of my panels and books. It is sturdy (without being too stiff) and is delightful to stitch into.

Before spraying, I prep the surface of the (ironed) calico with either Fabric Medium or a good quality spray starch. This “seals” the fabric and stiffens it slightly, but doesn’t make it go like a piece of MDF!

(Although the Fabric Medium may look a bit like glue when you paint it on, it is almost undetectable after it has dried and been ironed.)

I have found that by treating the fabric in this way I get the “speckled” effect that I want from the Brusho Sprays.

Without this treatment the Brusho can soak into the fabric and become “blurred” and also the colour will not be so apparent . (That’s fine if it’s what you want, but I like to see where the spray has landed and settled giving me a mottled stone-like effect.)

Brusho Acrylic Mist Spray Set - Main - 101057I begin by selecting the colours that I need for the project in mind – I’m working on designs from sandstone carvings at the moment, so would use Brusho Acrylic Sprays in Yellow, Sand, Dark Brown, Shimmering Copper and Shimmering Charcoal.

Always work from light to dark, build up the colour gently and let each colour dry before spraying the next otherwise the fabric will become too wet and you can’t see where you want colours to go.

C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic8Sample pieces of Calico – untreated on the left; treated on the right. (8)


C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic9After spraying with Yellow (9)


C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic10After spraying with Sand and Dark Brown (10)


When the plain colours are done it’s time to go in with the metallics – don’t overdo it as the mica particles sit on top of the other colours and you can end up with something akin to a mirror! Small bursts of Copper first…then a VERY SMALL amount of Shimmering Charcoal finishes the effect. (It’s good to remember that the Shimmering colours are not just “shimmer”, they have background colour as well so will also colour the fabric.)

C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic11This gives me my finished “stone” surface to stitch into.

Be aware – your fingers WILL get stained during stitching unless you wear gloves. Don’t worry about it though, the Brusho colours are completely safe…

…and stained fingers just prove that you’ve achieved something today!!

Here are some of my stitched pieces that have been created with Brusho Sprays.
C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic12 C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic13 C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic14 C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic15

Useful Note

Always put down a large piece of paper when using Brusho Sprays – it does what it says on the bottle – IT SPRAYS!!

Keep the same piece of paper in place for as long as you can…it becomes covered in all the colours that you have used and therefore is a home-made piece of wonderful collage/art paper that you can put into sketchbooks or anything else that takes your fancy! Use the front …. and don’t forget the back – it can be even more interesting! (see images below)

C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic16 C Gray Using Brusho Dye Article - Main - Pic17

Whatever you decide to do with your Brusho…

…Enjoy it!!

X Chris


Look out for more “Empressive Art” features here at Empress Mills as Chris will be writing articles and coming up with lovely projects for us on a regular basis!!

Chris Gray is a Textile Artist, Author and Tutor living in South Wales. She writes for several magazines including STITCH and Sewing World. Recently she has written for Workshop on the Web and that article will be out in the Autumn.

Chris travels all over the UK doing workshops …
…and all over the world teaching onboard a cruise ship.

If you want to book her for a workshop, please go to the Workshop Page Of Chris’ Website

…or if you want to see what she’s currently up to, visit her blog “Textile Butterfly”.


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6 thoughts on “Using Brusho Sprays On Fabric

  1. Love this article re: Brusho Spray paints. You can do the same thing with fabric dyes and acrylic paint and inks that are suitable for natural fabrics; which can also be laundered in the washing machine. What medium do you use to treat the fabric before painting/spraying?

    • Hi Jane, Thank you very much for your comments I am delighted you like the article. We are aiming to add lots more over the coming months.

      Chris uses either spray starch or a fabric medium. As silly as this sounds, the fabric medium is simply called ‘Fabric Medium’. We have some on order and it should be with us in the next week. I was going to hold of publishing the article until it had arrived but got a little carried away. Keep an eye on the newsletter and I will be sure to feature it as soon as it arrives with us.

      As always let me know if there is anything else I can help with.


  2. hello, having just read your brusho article can you tell me if the surface is ok to machine stitch onto as well as hand stitch please? Regards, lynda

    • Hi Linda, thanks for getting in touch.

      Absolutely the surface is ideal for machine stitching also. The Brusho coloured surface would be great machine stitched for extra effect.

      Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with.


    • Hi Kathy, Thanks so much for taking the time to write. It is great to hear the article is of interest!

      We have more articles planned so be sure to keep an eye out!


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