Glow in the Dark Material
Cloth in general presents some interesting problems for glow in the the dark pigments and paints. There are three techniques that are popular with our customers. Standard painting techniques are outlined below. "Dust Dying" and "Glow Ink" is described toward the end of the article.
Paint will not flex freely with the cloth of a garment. Therefore, you need a paint that has strong adhesion and at least some flexibility without cracking. This also means that you need to paint designs, letters, or small patterns as opposed to covering a whole garment to allow flexibility in the non-painted areas.
To accomplish this, you can use our glow in the dark paints, which are solvent-based acrylics. They have strong adhesion and moderate flexibility.
Another alternative is to mix a home brew that is popular among the craft experts (also known as your mom). Purchase FabriTac fabric glue from a local craft store. Add acetone paint thinner to the mixture until it is the consistency of paint. Remove the amount you need into a separate container and add 5-20% of our glow in the dark powder. Use it like you would any typical clothing paint.
Either of these methods should withstand a few wash cycles. To protect the art even further, you can purchase a clear sealer coat used by air brush artists to seal T-shirts at most major craft stores.
Some customers have also had good success with using an air brush and air brush paints on clothing.
A neat trick that increases the coverage of glow in the dark paint is to seal the porous surface of cloth with a less expensive paint. Apply a layer of standard acrylic gloss clothing paint that will absorb into the cloth and create a smooth surface. This surface can then be painted with the glow in the dark paint. Not only does this lower the overall costs, but the glow is now more consistent and smooth.
Put Glow in the Dark powder into a very large plastic bowl. Put the material or garment into the bowl and work the powder into the material. Remove the garment and push it back into the bowl several times pressing hard to push the powder into the weave of the material. Continue this until the weave of the material is packed with glow particles. Spray the garment with clear spray paint called airbrush sealer to permanently seal the powder into place.
Mix 2 ounces of powder with 4 Fl. Oz of clear silk screen ink. Use a paint brush to apply.