Sunday, July 27, 2008

Deka Fabric Paints?

I have acquired more Deka Permanent Fabric Paints, though they are different than the other jars I have had, some since 1982, in a few ways.

The jars are shorter and wider. My old jars, and the Orange in the "new" jar, smell like ammonia. The rest of the "new" jars have an unpleasant smell that I can't identify. It's not a chemical smell, but some sort of strange non-toxic paint smell. The labels on the old and new jars are similar, accept that the new jars have a "No acute or chronic health hazards - Label conforms to ASTM D4236" statement. I did always wonder how the ammonia could make Deka non-toxic, so maybe the formula and jars were changed right before they stopped selling it in the US? I don't know.

In late April, I acquired four bottles (shown above). Note the different style of jar.

To make sure that the new jars were actually fabric paints, and not just some poster paint in Deka jars, I painted small square patches of each color, and let it dry. Then I ironed the fabric for one minute to set the paint, and washed it. No running of paint when wet. That was good. I then ironed the fabric dry so I could find out quickly what the "hand" (the texture of the paint on the fabric) felt like after washing, and that was fine.

One thing of interest to me about Deka paints is how they soak in to the fabric, and what they look like on the back (or wrong) side of the fabric. All of the colors soaked through exactly the same on the back side except the "raging red" and the "dusty rose" which were more opaque paints and wouldn't soak through that much anyway.

Deka Permanent Fabric Paints are my absolute favorite fabric paints, and they have not been available for sale in the US for at least ten years.

I am always on the search for bottles of Deka paints, especially 8oz bottles or larger. If you, or anyone you know, have any jars of Deka Permanent Fabric Paints you'd like to get rid of, please email me at I would love to acquire them.