You gotta decide what to make it look like instead of cotton! Brush it with a wire brush to make it a little bit fuzzier like fleece, or wax it with clothing wax which waterproofs it and makes it kiiiiiind of a bit more like leather. Fabric paint can change the texture a bit depending on what kind you use.
Its helpful to outline what you are working with, and what results you want so we can help you get from A to B! Is it lightweight quilting broadcloth, or canvas? Do you want it to look like velvet or leather or silk etc