Saturday, 31 May 2014

Fabric printing testing

I had a go at printing on some fabric today, I only have the one colour as I wanted to see how it works and how it lasts through the wash before I invest in any more.  I chose aqua (just because I like it) but if I plan to get any more I am going to buy just the primary colours and white so that I can mix my own colours.  I bought it from a shop called the Range and it is a little pot for £2.49, it was £2.99 in hobby craft and the same online, the make is Dylon.  If anyone knows that the cheaper makes work just as well let me know as I saw there were sets of these online and they were reasonably priced.  For my fabric I just used an old shirt of my husbands (he always passes them  on to me for fabric) but it did have a fine raised line in it which does affect anything you print.
I decided to use a potato to try it out first as they are easy to cut into and I didn't really have anything else suitable to print with, I know you can buy all the tools and foam stuff for making your own print blocks but I really just want to see how this works first. To be honest I don't want to be spending much on it so anything from around the house I can use will do just fine. I cut it into a square then I  cut a square from inside that one, that bit was tricky as I had to score the centre square then chip the bits of potato out.  I blotted the potato then as it is full of moisture and I used a small brush to paint the fabric paint on. 
I went along the fabric in rows so as to cover the whole thing, at first I thought I could paint it on then do maybe three prints but the colour fades so much immediately after the first print that you really have to load up the paint before you print each time. 
You can see that you get a bit of variation in the squares I think some of that is of course the way the potato has held the paint but some of it is the raised lines in the fabric.  I quite like that though as it is not too uniform. 
This is what it came out like and I like it but can you see where disaster struck? I dropped the potato just as I was finishing and there is a little splodge in one of the squares.  It now has to be left to dry before setting with a hot iron so I moved on to another bit.
This one I did just using the brush and it is supposed to look like waves.  My teenage son came in and said he liked  this one, he had been laughing and asking me how old I was when he saw me potato printing.
Here they are drying, the yellow one was to see if it would go green on yellow or just sit on top of the colour. as you can see it does go green on this very bright cotton. I used the square again and overlapped it lots,  not sure I like this one though. Next time I will try and cut some stencils but they will have to be paper  so they may go soggy quick. I want to see what the paint looks like with a crisper edge.  I suppose you could just paint a border on things free hand if you are artistic.  I think this would be good for people who do quilting because if you get given fabric you can change the look in lots of ways or maybe just stencil or print on certain little blocks.  I don't what I will use these bits for yet but I want to fix it and then wash it just to test the staying power of the colour, I will let you know how it gets on.

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