In my post about freezer paper stenciling I stated that one can use acrylic paint in place of fabric paint. That is the case, but I wanted to elaborate on this a bit, thanks to some comments from two wonderful readers, Diana in Culver City CA and Lynne in Chicago.
Diana said "I used to work for a company that manufactures acrylic paints. They are, indeed, much the same. To make your acrylic paint more "fabric friendly," add a bit of water, no more than 10%. It thins the paint a bit and makes it slightly less stiff on the fabric.
Lynne said "in general, it's better to add textile/fabric medium to thin your acrylic paints before you use them on fabric. The paint is then permanent and more flexible (doesn't crack)."
In conclusion, if you're doing freezer paper stenciling, and you don't want a stiff result, use fabric medium, as watery paint consistency will cause the paint to possibly bleed under the paper. If you're painting on fabric for some other project, like my glue batik project, where watery paint is not an issue, so just go ahead and add water to your paint! And if you're doing a wall hanging or a non-clothing item, so stiffness may not be an issue, and you can go ahead and use slightly watered down acrylic paint.
If you'd like more info, here are two helpful links that I found on ehow.com, this one tells you which medium to mix with your paint depending on what method you'll be using to apply the paint to the fabric, and this one tells you how you can seal your work if you do use regular acrylic paint on fabric.
Happy fabric painting! There are so many possibilities from clothing to curtains to tote bags to well you name it!