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Review of Pebeo Setacolor: Pros & Cons

Updated: Jan 31

French brand Pebeo has one of the biggest choice of products for fabric decoration.

Pebeo Setacolor Opaque fabric paint initiation set

The series specific for fabric is called Setacolor.

It’s got hundreds of shades and textures to help us create on fabric:

For those who'd like to just introduce themselves to this brand, the good news is, Pebeo has created initiation set (beginner kit) of every type of paint from Setacolor line.

You can learn more about them and other beginner sets of fabric paints from Lesson #8 of an open online course "Fabric Painting Foundations".

Exploring the Types of Pebeo Setacolor Fabric Paints

Pebeo Setacolor fabric paints are available in a variety of types (paint series), each tailored to specific artistic preferences and effects. Let's explore these types in detail.

Pebeo Setacolor Opaque Fabric Paint

Pebeo Setacolor Opaque is a go-to choice for artists seeking vibrant, opaque colors that truly pop on textile.

Here are some key features of Setacolor Opaque fabric paint type:

  • Exceptional coverage: This fabric paint series is truly an opaque paint range, making it perfect for creating bold and striking designs.

  • Intense Pigmentation: no blah shades. Setacolor Opaque ensures that your colors remain vivid and true to your artistic vision. They are mixable and lightfast.

  • Wide Color Spectrum: Opaque series come in a vast spectrum of colors, allowing us to choose from a rich palette to bring our designs to life.

This line of paints is a good and reliable fit for both beginners and experienced artists who want to make a statement with their fabric creations.

💡Tip 1. Do you know the difference between opaque and not opaque (transparent) fabric paints? This 1min tutorial will quickly catch you up!

Pebeo Setacolor Transparent Fabric Paint

For artists who prefer a more translucent finish that allows the fabric's texture to shine through, Pebeo Setacolor Transparent fabric paint is the perfect choice.

A misty mountain scenery is painted on a cotton fabric using Pebeo Setacolor Transparent fabric paint

Here's what you need to know about this paint type:

  • Translucent Elegance: Pebeo Setacolor Light Fabrics (Transparent) adds a beautiful light texture finish to your textile projects, as it absolutely doesn't stiffen the fabric.

  • Lightfast Colors: The colors in this range are lightfast, ensuring that your creations retain their brightness over time.

  • Layering Possibilities: The translucent nature of these paints allows for layering, enabling you to create depth and complexity in your designs.

✅ Pebeo Setacolor Transparent Fabric Paint is a reliable choice for painting on white or light colored clothes as this range of fabric paints has minimum opacity while the pigmentation is high.

💡Tip. Did you know that Pebeo Setacolor Transparent and Setacolor Light Fabrics are the same thing? The name is simply interchangeable :)

9 paint jars of Pebeo Setacolor Transparent fabric paint on a white desk

Next video is a part of a free course "Fabric Painting Foundations" - it gives a quick visual overview of Pebeo Setacolor, paint color swatches and a laundry crash-test of a cotton fabric painted with Setacolor Transparent fabric paint.

Pebeo Setacolor Shimmer Fabric Paint

For those seeking a touch of glamour and shine in their fabric art, Pebeo Setacolor Shimmer fabric paint is the answer. Here are the key highlights of this dazzling paint type:

  • Shimmering Effect: Pebeo Setacolor Shimmer adds an elegant shimmer to your fabric creations, making them stand out with a touch of brilliance.

  • Special Occasion Ready: This paint type is perfect for special occasions, allowing you to create eye-catching clothing and accessories that sparkle.

  • Variety of Colors: Pebeo Setacolor Shimmer is available in a range of shimmering colors, providing endless possibilities for your artistic endeavors.

  • Perfect Coverage: While shimmering, these fabric paints are also incredibly opaque, making them suitable for both light and dark textiles.

a set of Pebeo Setacolor Shimmering and Opaque fabric paints are placed on top of a grey sweatshirt
An open box of 12 jars is a beginner set of Pebeo Setacolor Shimmering fabric paints

🔔 Tip. I'd like to note, that Pebeo Setacolor Shimmering fabric paints have a truly shimmering finish. They do not contain glitter powder, fyi. Pebeo has a separate line for Setacolor Gliter fabric paints.

Pebeo Setacolor Suede Effect Fabric Paint

If you're looking to create a unique suede-like texture on your fabrics, Pebeo Setacolor Suede Effect Fabric Paint is the perfect choice. Here's what sets this paint type apart:

  • Soft and Velvety Texture: Pebeo Setacolor Suede Effect allows you to achieve a soft and velvety finish on your textiles, adding depth and tactile appeal.

  • Textural Variety: This paint type enables you to experiment with different textures, bringing a new dimension to your fabric art.

  • Diverse Applications: Pebeo Setacolor Suede Effect can be used for various projects, from clothing and accessories to home decor items.

In my view, this is the more underrated type of fabric paint that most textile art enthusiasts are not even aware of! With the ability to create textures that mimic the feel of suede, Pebeo Setacolor Suede Effect can add a luxurious touch and unexpected dimension to your fabric creations.

🔔 Tip. Fabric pint with suede finish is great for adding accent details and lettering when customizing clothes. However, it is absolutely possible to create an entire painting with only this paint too!

angel girl painting on clothes using Pebeo Setacolor Suede Effect fabric paint
Wreath is painted using Suede Effect in dark green shade
Miraculous character painted on a brown sweatshirt with soft and fluffy Pebeo Setacolor Suede Effect fabric paints
Here an entire character is painted with soft and fluffy Pebeo Setacolor Suede Effect fabric paints

PROS: What's good about Pebeo Setacolor fabric paint?

I would highlight such winning features of Pebeo Setacolor as:

  • It’s got a fantastic choice of products and color palette

  • Painted design turns out much softer compared to many other brands

  • All paints are highly pigmented. Colors remain bright even when significantly diluted with water

  • It can be used on most fabrics, including synthetics!

  • All Setacolor products can be easily mixed with each other to create even broader color palette and unique texture.


Join an open online course "Fabric Painting Foundations". It's FREE for anyone who's willing to get a proper skill & guidance in the art fabric painting.


CONS: What's not so good about Pebeo Setacolor fabric paint?

While in general Pebeo Setacolor could be considered as one of the best fabric paints out there, it's still got some downsides as well:

  • it's not easily accessible in some countries

  • it's got a noticeable paint smell, which takes time to get used to

  • there's some controversy about the black paint from Setacolor Opaque series. Black color, when applied as a top layer sometimes washes off (each new jar needs to be tested). Read below on how to tackle this issue

How are Pebeo Setacolor paints perform against other famous brands of fabric paint?

Next video is a contest: Jacquard Neopaque vs Pebeo Seatacolor Opaque

You can see for yourself how different two opaque fabric paint brands can be. Also there's a detailed demonstration of color brightness and softness of black fabric painted with both brands.

Useful Tips: working with Pebeo Setacolor

Tip #1. Pay attention to the sticker each time before use or purchase: it’s easy to confuse the type or effect of your intended paint jar.

😃Here's a play: three yellows - find a difference!

How many times did I pick up Setacolor Suede Effect instead of Opaque!!!

Tip #2. Black color paint from Setacolor Opaque series sometimes washes off when applied as an overcoat. Instead you can use the black color from series for Light Fabrics or mix it up by yourself (equal amount of red+blue+yellow). Setacolor Opaque black paint performs great, though, if applied directly on fabric.

Tip #3. Setacolor paints are rather flexible. To get the best out of their performance be generous in application. This paint will not crack but will slightly stretch (!) wherever there are two or more layers. Just make sure you are applying each layer evenly, not leaving the spots uncovered or overly lumped with paint.

Tip #4. Feel free to use any of two standard series of Pebeo Setacolor fabric paints in watercolor technique on natural or even synthetic fabrics!

A lady wearing Japanese themed hand-painted tights
Yes, it's hand-painted on nylon tights! Oh, the possibilities with fabric paint...🤩

Opaque series will require a little bit more diluting though. Layering and glazing are all possible with these paints when following the rules of fabric painting.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using Pebeo Setacolor Paints

Now that we've explored the various types of Pebeo Setacolor fabric paints, I'd like to offer you a step-by-step guide to try these paints and to do it in a right way. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced artist, this guide will ensure you achieve stunning results with ease.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you start your fabric painting project, it's essential to gather all the necessary art materials:

  • Pebeo Setacolor Fabric Paint of your choice (Opaque, Transparent, Shimmer, or Suede Effect)

  • Fabric (cotton, linen, silk, or a fabric of your choice)

  • Brushes or applicators (depending on your design)

  • Palette (for mixing colors, if needed)

  • Water and paper towels (for cleaning brushes)

  • Masking tape or stencils (for creating clean lines and shapes)

Ensure you have a dedicated workspace with good lighting and proper ventilation. Cover your work surface with a plastic tablecloth or newspaper to protect it from paint spills.

Step 2: Pre-Wash Your Fabric

Before you begin painting, it's essential to pre-wash your fabric to remove any sizing, dirt, or chemicals that may interfere with paint adherence. Follow the care instructions for the fabric type to prevent shrinkage or distortion. Make sure not to use fabric softener for this wash cycle as it might prevent proper bond between paint and textile at the later stage.

Step 3: Sketch Your Design

Plan your design on paper before transferring it to the fabric. This step helps you visualize your project and make any necessary adjustments. You can also use washable (disappearing) fabric markers to sketch directly onto the fabric.

a display of a sheet of carbon paper and various pen & pencil types for tracing purpose
Just a few things that you could use to draw or trace an image to fabric
Step 4: Start Painting

Now it's time to apply the paint to your fabric. Follow these steps:

  • Place a piece of cardboard or wax paper inside the fabric to prevent the paint from bleeding through to the other side.

  • Dip your brush or applicator into the paint, or if using fabric markers, apply the color directly to the fabric.

  • Begin painting your design, working from light to dark colors to avoid smudging.

  • Let each color dry before adding additional layers or details.

  • If you're using stencils, secure them in place with masking tape and paint within the stencil lines.

Step 5: Dry and Set the Paint

Allow your painted fabric to dry completely, following the paint manufacturer's instructions. Majority of paints require heat-setting with an iron to ensure the design remains durable and washable on fabric. This video will give you the best idea of how to set your fabric paint!

Step 6: Final Touches

Once your painting is touch dry and set, you can add any final touches or details to your design. This step allows you to refine your artwork and make it truly unique. For example, you could add some embroidery or beading at this stage!

By following these steps, you can create stunning fabric art using Pebeo Setacolor paints. Remember to experiment with different techniques and paint types to discover your unique style and create beautiful, one-of-a-kind textile pieces.

🔔Tip. I highly recommend you to watch this video with 7 tips for quality fabric painting to fully understand how to achieve best results.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pebeo Setacolor:

Can I mix different types of Pebeo Setacolor paints?

Yes. You can freely either mix different types of Pebeo Setacolor paints between each other, layer them, or place side by side. Using Setacolor paints with different effects in one project can help in creating special textures and color transitions.

Can Setacolor paint be used with paints from other brands?

How to use Pebeo Setacolor fabric paint on synthetics?

How to heat set Setacolor fabric paint?

Does Setacolor fabric paint wash away? Is it permanent?

Is Pebeo Setacolor fabric paint safe for skin?

Fabric Painting Master Classes & Tutorials

For those looking for in-depth guidance, beginner or advanced techniques - look no further! Here at FabricPaintingCoach you can explore and pick through a variety of painting master classes and free tutorials. These classes are led by experienced artists and provide a structured learning experience to help you elevate your craft.

Whether you're interested in mastering a specific technique or want to gain a deeper understanding of fabric painting as an art form, these resources can be invaluable in your artistic journey.

Where to buy Pebeo Seatacolor Fabric Paint?

  1. In your local store: offline or online. In North America it's the stores like Michael's, Deserres and Dharma Trading are the stores which in my experience, offer most budget options for Pebeo Setacolor art products.

  2. On Amazon: some paint series from Setacolor are available mostly in individual bottles, while others can be found in convenient sets:

Color-chart of Pebeo Setacolor fabric paints

Take a look at these swatches. Use them to identify the name and number of the color from Setacolor that you're looking for. These can be rather confusing, so the chart might prove to be quite handy!

setacolor opaque color swatches
Note, on top there's a variety of jar sizes mentioned! Some of us need more paint :)
Pebeo Setacolor SHIMMERING Effect
Setacolor shimmering fabric paints color swatches
Great for both light and dark colored textiles. Swatches are accurate


👇In this downloadable PDF file you can find an entire range of Setacolor art materials, including 7A textile markers, Pebeo Setasilk, 3D outliners, etc.

Download PDF • 2.09MB

I hope this review was of a good use to you. Share your thoughts, experiences or questions here or start a new Discussion related to clothes customization and fabric painting with a click of a button on our Forum.






Very useful, thanks..

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