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Because I am using Paintstiks so heavily on fabric now, I started wondering if there is potential for damage to the fabric from the oils in the paint.  It seemed like a good time to do some research.  The “go-to” person for info on Paintstiks is Shelly Stokes who wrote “Paintstiks on Fabric” .  Shelly Stokes believes that Shiva Paintstiks are indeed safe for fabric and notes that they have been used on fabric since the 60’s – 45-50 years. 

Most oil bars contain linseed oil which is highly acidic.  Stokes reports that Shiva Paintstiks contain less linseed oil than other oil sticks, meaning less acidic content.  Additionally, the linseed oil in Shiva Paintstiks is refined in a way that makes it less acidic.  Smaller amounts of linseed oil allows the paint to dry much faster – hours instead of weeks or months.  Using heat to set the paint can speed up the drying even more.   

Although damage to fabric could take years or decades to show up, manufacturers do not recommend oil sticks to be used on fabric, except for Shiva Paintstiks.  So with a sigh of relief, I continue painting on fabric.

Here is another small piece for my “Impressionist Landscape” series.  This piece is just out of the wet studio and is in need of paint and stitching.

“Cattails I” (c)2010 Shelley Brucar



Filed under Art Stuff, Fiber Art, hand-dyeing, Impressionist Landscapes


  1. Thanks for the info on Shiva paintsticks. I wondered about them, although it hasn’t stopped me from using them.
    LOVE the Cattails. Beautiful already. I’m sure when you’re done it will be fabulous.

  2. i will enjoy your experiments with shiva on fab

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