A T-shirt with a protest art message on it in the mid-2000s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Putting airbrush art on T-shirts can be a fun and creative hobby. For those that want to take it a step further it can also be fun and exciting business. T-shirts containing airbrush art are popular and unique to wear. What makes airbrushed t-shirts so unique is that one of a kind images can be created giving the wearer a shirt that no one else has. Thus making for a pretty fun hobby or profitable business.
The great thing with airbrush art is that you really do not have to know how to draw. All you need to know how to do is successfully use the stencil that you wish to use for your design. The main key is learning how to control the airbrush gun so that you can get the paint only where you want it and not overcast the paint where you do not want it. Once you master that then your options are endless with the vast array of stencils out there.
A bottom feed or siphon feed airbrush works best when putting airbrush art onto a t-shirt. You should always stick with a name brand airbrush when airbrushing. The best name brands to go with are the Iwata or Badger. The Paasche is also a good quality airbrush to go with. You will save yourself money in the long run when using a name brand versus a generic airbrush.
When choosing an airbrush compressor keep in mind that put airbrush art onto t-shirts does require a high psi. The psi setting should be between 40 to 60. Make sure that your compressor is rated for the type of work you are going to be doing. In this case it will be airbrushing t-shirts. When doing airbrush art onto t-shirts as a business then invest in a commercial air compressor. It will be worth it in the long run.
Most of the times you will need to heat set your paints so that they can be washed without fading or bleeding. There are a few ways that you can heat set your airbrush art onto the t-shirts so that it lasts. One way is all the design to fully dry then place a cloth over it and iron the shirt with the cloth between the t-shirt and the iron. Always keep the iron moving though so that you do not burn the material. Another great way if you are doing this at home is to allow the design to dry then turn the shirt inside out and throw it into the dryer for about 40 to 45 minutes on the highest heat setting. After this your design will hold up to laundering.
If you use a paint that does not require heat setting then you should still set the design. A great way to do this with paints that do not require heat setting is to place the t-shirt by itself into a sink full of cold water that has salt mixed into it. The cold water and salt will help to keep the shirt when it is laundered from fading or bleeding.
Placing airbrush art onto t-shirts can be fun and exciting. But you are not limited to t-shirts. Get creative and airbrush designs onto cotton underwear for you significant other. Airbrush socks for your family. The possibilities with clothing and airbrush art are limitless.