You can use almost any type of fabric with paintstiks, including cotton, rayon, linen, silk and synthetic fibers. You will find that stenciling and other masking techniques work on many fabrics including heavy fabrics, but rubbings are limited to lighter weight fabrics. Heavily textured fabrics will not react the same as smooth fabrics, but that does not mean you can’t use them – just don’t expect the same results.
Prewash your fabric to remove any sizing. Use plain detergent. Avoid products that contain fabric softeners or bleach additives.
One thing to watch for – fabrics that are treated to be “stain-resistant” may also be “paint-resistant!” This is especially important if you are working with pre-made table linens, as many have special coatings. Always check labels and do a test before you begin a big project.