Powertex Universal Medium works best with natural materials, but what does that mean and should I avoid other materials? Powertex is a mixed media art and craft product that is versatile and has multiple uses.

What is Powertex Universal Medium?

Frequently known as just Powertex, this liquid medium was originally developed as a fabric hardener for sculpture. Due to its long working time, weatherproof finish and adhesive properties it became popular for a range of mixed media art and crafts. It’s great for layering up different materials or heavy embellishments in art or sculpture.

A range of other products such as texture mediums and pigments were also developed to use with the liquid medium.

An amount of white Powertex liquid on a plate with a paintbrush and fabric pieces

Which materials can I use with Powertex Universal Medium?

Natural materials work best with Powertex. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Cotton fabrics including muslin, cheesecloth, jersey, denim and more
  • Fabrics with a low percentage of synthetic fibres
  • Wood
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Raffia, string, yarn
  • Leather
  • Silk or fabric flowers
  • Paper and card
  • Metal wire, netting or mesh
  • Powertex texture mediums and Paperdecoration

Ivory Powertex coated fabric scraps

Which materials don’t work well with Powertex?

There is nothing to stop you from using Powertex with synthetic materials, such as plastics or synthetic fabrics. However, you can expect some different results. These might not affect your project but they are worth knowing.

  • Cured Powertex can peel away from soft plastics.
  • Synthetic fabrics and fibres will not harden to the same level as natural fibres and may not be as weatherproof or water resistant.

Can I use organic materials with Powertex?

Organic materials, while natural, have their own qualities. Leaves, flowers, seeds and seedpods, nuts and grasses all contain moisture. When coated with Powertex, that moisture can get trapped inside which can affect the material’s shape and texture overtime. Drying your materials thoroughly first works for some projects.

Feathers seem to hold up well if handled with care.

How to use plastics and organic materials with Powertex

Here are some tips for using Powertex medium with plastics or organic materials.

  • Prepare plastics with masking tape or gesso. These provide a tooth to the surface and create a better base.
  • Test small pieces of your fabric first to check how well it hardens if that’s important.
  • Dry out organic materials before adding to your project or use them to stamp, emboss or paint with.

Powertex Universal Medium has limitless possibilities

In the end if you want to use your Powertex with plastic doll parts or synthetic fabrics, that’s ok. Understanding the limits of Powertex does not have to limit your project because there are ways to make your art happen. It’s such a versatile medium that the only limit is your imagination.

If you are new to Powertex you can find out more in 10 things about Powertex or check my Etsy shop for ebook instruction.