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Mont Marte Fabric Paints Review: Pros & Cons, Tests and Honest Thoughts

Updated: Jan 23

Mont Marte permanent fabric paints from the land Down Under are definitely a product worth exploring. Get ready for a surprise and a bit of suspense...

Welcome back for another interesting fabric paint review!

Today I wanted to share with you my findings after extensive experiments and testing of Australian manufacturer of textile paints Monte Marte.

Mont Marte fabric paint review of 8 colors set

Back when I lived in UAE, I had a chance to try many art products from Mont Marte such as acrylic paints, disposable palettes, canvases and sets of paint brushes, simply because this brand was widely available on local market and had a really good quality of art materials at affordable prices.


Testing and reviewing Mont Mart fabric paint on a white cotton tshirt

That's when I first took notice of Mont Marte fabric paint set as well. I had no high expectations at the time, since I've never really heard anything at all (good or bad) about this product from the colleagues in the field.


That's why in this review of Mont Marte fabric paint you're in for a real treat! Keep reading to find out:

  • How good are the colors? Are they opaque?

  • How to use Mont Marte fabric paint on light or dark textile?

  • Is this fabric paint good for painting on denim?

  • Can Mont Marte fabric paint be diluted with water?

  • Do these fabric colors go dull or wash off after laundry?

  • Is Mont Marte fabric paint set worth the money?


Mont Marte fabric paint: First Impressions


The first time I tried Mont Marte fabric paints was essentially on a testing piece of clothes.


Since I didn't know whether this fabric paint had good properties, I had to play safe and not risk working with it on a wearable textile. Use this tip whenever you too are trying a new brand of paint and are not sure in its performance.

As always, I was trying to find out the basic features of this fabric paint like its opacity, texture, whether or not it stiffens the fabric and how well does it stay on after a laundry cycle.

I purchased a set of 8 fabric colors by Mont Marte, which has 8 plastic jars 20ml each, including white, black, yellow, red, light green, light blue, pink & lilac paint colors.

Open jars of Mont Marte fabric paint set of 8

After opening a jar you won't feel any strong paint odor, which is a positive point for those who is sensitive to smells.


The body of Mont Marte fabric paint looked quite smooth and uniform. I anyway stirred it with the other side of a brush for a better performance, and finally made a row of paint swatches to see how the paint feels when applied to fabric.

Swatches of Mont Marte Fabric Paint set of 8
1st paint layer of Mont Marte Fabric Paint

Testing fabric paint on a colored textile (like this blue one) gives the opportunity to understand how transparent the paint is and how much pigmented it is. Based on these answers we can then test how many layers of paint it will take to achieve the color brightness as it is in the jar, and is this paint actually capable to do so on a dark colored fabric? 😉


After these swatches became touch dry, I applied one more paint layer.


✅ By the way, if you're curious whether Mont Marte fabric paint dries on textile fast - it does not. Is it a good thing? I suppose, it's subjective to your preferences. I prefer when fabric paint allows me time to play around with it, so yes, for me the fact that it doesn't dry up too fast is a good feature.

Color swatches of Mont Marte fabric paint on clothes

Second layer of paint revealed the beauty of this fabric paint. Colors popped up instantly! yellow, pink and purple though, asked for a third paint coat.

You can always make a choice about the necessary number of paint layers based on the requirements of your design and color of your garment.

On their website Mont Marte fabric paints, the manufacturer says that these paints are good for use on both light and dark fabrics. Usually, such description is applicable to opaque paints.



✅Based on my test so far, I can agree with this recommendation since it took only two paint coats for Mont Marte fabric paint to reveal its shades on quite a dark textile.


I'll cover my observations on softness of this paint later in the article, after you've seen a few painted designs with it.


How to use Mont Marte fabric paint on clothes?


Painting with Mont Marte fabric paints turned out to be easy and pleasant.

I used it right after purchasing when the paint was fresh, and made a couple of projects a year later, using the same jars. Texture of paint remained uniform, only insignificantly thickened with the time.


Now I'm going to show you some painted designs which were done using this fabric paint and comment out some notable points.


Painting a white cotton T-shirt using Mont Marte Fabric paint

Sketching on a cotton tshirt with mont Marte fabric colors

I painted this African Mask design to have fun and to test:

  • how will Mont Marte fabric colors look like if applied straight from the jar (no mixing, no diluting)?

  • will the Mont Marte fabric colors remain bright (not wash off) after laundry if applied only one paint layer (aha!)?

  • how soft will the design feel on a thin cotton shirt?

For this paint test I wanted to try out an entire set of 8 colors and to apply them straight from the jar.

Open jars of mont Marte fabric colors

On a white fabric this textile paint popped up with colors instantly. It's easy in application and quick to fill in the area due to its smooth paint texture.

Painting with mont Marte textile paints on white clothes

😃Mont Marte fabric paint also is quite gentle on brushes. After leaving a used paint brush outside the water cup, after a while it was still easy to rinse it. No bristles got damaged, or glued in between.


After the design was completed I let it rest over night.

a colorful mask painted on a tshirt using mont Marte fabric paint

Mont Marte fabric paints [just like many other brands] must be heat set in order to maintain its permanency. I did it using an iron and a protective cotton sheet.

Instruction of how to use and wash clothes painted with mont Marte fabric colors
Heat setting is a crucial step in fabric painting process, regardless of a type of fabric you're painting on. Learn everything one needs to know from this guide.

After a laundry cycle


I tested color performance by dropping this T-shirt for a machine wash: normal cycle, cold water and later - hot air dryer.


I always suggest to be gentle with painted textile by avoiding regular washing conditions. In a free Course "Fabric Painting Foundations" students learn the best ways to care for painted clothing to be able to follow them and recommend to their customers to ensure longevity of their fabric art.


👽However, this is a paint test, and I wanted to try and do some of the things that most people think is "normal" in fabric painting: one paint coat only and use of hot dryer (after a laundry cycle).


As a result, my painting somewhat faded out after this laundry cycle, BUT only because in this paint test the painting technology was not followed!


If you don't want this to happen to your painted designs on textile, remember:

even if you're painting on a light colored fabric, best practice is to apply a 2nd layer/coat of paint as soon as the first one is dry. This will ensure that there's a right amount of paint on fabric, and that paint was properly spread and fixed.

and

spare your fabric art from rough treatment. Do not use hot dryer!

Does Mont Marte fabric paint stiffen the fabric?


After I reapplied the 2nd paint layer on my African Mask design, the thin cotton T-shirt felt absolutely pleasant to the body, and not at all stiff as I squeezed the painting in my hand.

Testing softness of painted design on a cotton t-shirt

Painting denim with Mont Marte fabric paints


Let's now take a look at Mont Mart's performance on denim!

mont Marte fabric colors on denim

This topic is very popular in the comments on my YouTube channel, since many want to know if its OK to use Mont Marte fabric paint on denim jackets, jeans, etc..


If you read previous section carefully, you must have noted by now that Mont Marte paints do not stiffen fabric and are quite opaque. These two characteristics are the most important to consider, whenever we're choosing textile paint for denim.


I used white color in this painting the most, since I wasn't able to test it in the previous design. 👌I liked what I saw: first paint layer, as expected, was less pigmented than the second one.

testing white color of mont Marte fabric paint on denim

However, it took only 3 white paint coats to achieve a pure white color on a denim pocket. If I needed less intensity of white, two layers could do as well.

A bear making a snow angel painted on a denim pocket with Mont Marte fabric paint jars laying around

Heat set and wash denim garment painted with Mont Marte fabric paints in the same way as discussed earlier.


Overall, I enjoyed using this textile paint on denim, with exception of one thing, which I'll share with you when we'll get to Pro's & Con's section...


Can we dilute Mont Marte fabric paints to achieve watercolor effect on clothes?


One of my first experiments with Mont Marte was a painting which I made on my kid's T-shirt.

watercolor painting on clothes using mont Marte fabric paint

Many of you have appreciated the technique and design in general (for which I'm grateful❤) and posted a number of questions like, whether or not colors fade out or stiffen this gentle cotton shirt?


In this section I'll focus on the question related to fading out of colors.


Since we have established that Mont Marte fabric paints are opaque, they're also well pigmented. I suppose, that is the reason why even when diluted, painting remained intact after countless washes.

A white tshirt with a painting of humming bird and abstract flowers on it
Painted T-shirt after about 2 years of regular wear and laundry
Please note, that with the time freehand painting does reduce in it's color intensity, considering that this painted garment is being worn and washed regularly. However, somewhat fading out of colors (over the years!) has nothing in common with actual washing away of parts of a painting.

Observe how I worked with diluted Mont Marte paints in this video-tutorial. It's an open lesson!


Mont Mart fabric paint Review: Pros and Cons


I wonder, what is your opinion so far? I'll get straight to the point and conclude my experience.


Pro's:

  1. Good quality. Indeed, Mont Marte is a good fabric paint one could count on to make their ideas come to life on most of textiles. Fine performance in all tests: softness, opacity, laundry, permanency.

  2. Easily spreading. When fresh or even a year old, this fabric paint is pleasant to work with

  3. Great color palette. For those who prefers pre-mixed colors, Mont Mart offers sets of 8, 12, 24 and 36 paint jars!

  4. Handy bottles. Paint jars are easy to close properly, so that your paint won't dry out. Very underrated point!

  5. Widely available. Even though Mont Mart comes from Australia which is so far far away for most of us, the manufacturer still managed to create a nice distribution of its products in many countries with not overpriced rates on Amazon as well.

  6. Reliable brand. There are a lot of other helpful art materials which can be found at Mont Marte, like paint brushes, tracing paper, tear-off paper palette, etc. most are light on pocket and of a trusted quality.

Con's:

  1. Not basic colors. This point could be arguable, but it's my opinion, so here it is: 8 color paint set could use some more basic shades. For example, the light green color is almost useless, unless you want to paint a really vivid design. Mixing it with other 7 colors is not really an option. I'd rather have a medium/dark green which is more versatile.

  2. Paint jar sizes. Mont Marte fabric paint set is good, but since the size of each jar is only 20ml, a set resembles a starter kit. The goal of a starter kit is usually to let people try the paints before they go ahead for an actual product. Based on my use of Mont Marte paint on a few paintings, I could assume that the 20ml jar set of colors could be enough only for 3-4 small designs on fabric OR 1-2 medium ones. However, if you're only beginning to explore fabric painting this shouldn't be a problem for you.

  3. Only sets, no individual paint jars. To continue previous point, I'll say it's a big disadvantage not to be able to purchase separate paint colors. If for instance, I wanted to make a large scale design on a denim jacket, I'd need more than one bottle of white paint and, perhaps, another bottle or two of a primary color of the design. The amount of paint in a set, can't satisfy this requirement, unfortunately.

  4. Limited variety. Not of colors, but of fabric art materials from Mont Marte. You remember, right, that in one painting we should try to avoid layering art materials from different brands. For example, once I painted a character completely with Mont Marte fabric paints, but I used Pebeo Setacolor outliner to create some details, since there was no other decorative materials from Mont Marte available. As a result, half of the outliner washed away (literally peeled off😥) and the painting was ruined... So to avoid such mishaps in one project, I'd like to see more products from Mont Marte for textile art to work with.


Visually the list of Con's looks longer, but it isn't really negative on practice. I only went on extensively about each point to specify possible alternatives or simply to state my personal outlook.


Let's draw the line.

 

Final Thoughts. Conclusion


I've tried quite a few fabric paint brands over the past 8 years, and I wasn't disappointed with the quality that we can get from Mont Marte. Aside from a few points in which, in my view, they could improve, Mont Marte fabric paints are widely available, fairly priced and produce a quality painting on most types of textiles which makes them a nice choice for easy DIY clothes painting ideas.


I hope you enjoyed this review, picked up some new tips and are ready to make an informed decision about a fabric paint for your own painted design on fabric.


Have you used Mont Marte fabric paint?

  • No, but I'd like to try it

  • No, and I have doubts

  • Yes, I liked these paints

  • Yes, but I wouldn't recommend

Leave a comment to discuss your experience with Mont Marte fabric paints or if you have any questions on the topic.

And remember, you can share your painted projects with fabric painting community on FPC Forum :)


Cheers!



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