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This week I’ve been experimenting with different methods of printing on fabric. I’ve also been trying to keep costs down by using only materials I already have lying around. For this “technique” if you can call it that, I was inspired by monoprinting, which I’ve never done before but read about and wanted to try. From what i know about it, it’s usually done with oil paint and printed on paper or canvas. You lay the paint and sometimes other materials like salt or string in whatever arrangement you want over a sheet of plastic and then press the sheet of paper over top of it all. When you take the paper off you have a one-off “print”. I wanted to see if I could use the same principles but apply it to fabric.
***What you’ll need***
1. It’s not neccessary to have a pre-made design, but I wanted one, so I used a peice of scrapbook paper that had a cool design on it. |Alternatively, you could print something out from your computer or draw something onto a peice of paper. (Or use nothing and just make it up as you go!) If you are using a design, tape it down to the table. Then take the clingwrap or freezer paper and tape it over top of the design. make sure it’s not buckled anywhere and that its stretched tight. you don’t want it to move around and you don’t want there to be creases to mess up the paint.
2. apply the fabric paint to the plastic. If you are using a design, simply trace it. If you’re design is large, it might be tough on your hands and the places you started first may dry by the time your finished, so watch out. Since this was my first experiment, I stick to one colour, but you can use more than one if you want.
3. when all the paint is applied, it’s time to “print” onto the fabric. The easiest way to do this without messing it up is to stick a peice of cardboard a little bigger than your design inside the shirt and gathering the excess fabric on the backside (the side not to be printed on) tape it or use elastics. the part you will print on should be stretched tight, but not too tight. It’s a good idea to prepare this before you get to this stage to avoid having the paint dry on the plastic before you’re ready.
(front- printing side:)
(back- excess fabric gathered:)
4. line up the fabric with the design and slowly lay it over the paint. press firmly against the back of the fabric, but don’t let is smoosh sideways. if you want to test it, carefully life up a corner of the fabric and see how it’s printing. if the paint has become to dry or tacky, you may have to continue pressing firmly. It being my first time, this happened to me and I had to remove the cardboard (carefully!) and press the fabric with my fingers inch by inch to get a better imprint.
5. when you feel confident, carefully peel the fabric off of the plastic and lay flat to dry.
(the left over paint still stuck to the plastic after the printing:)
6. when dry, iron or put in the dryer to heat set the paint. Look on the packaging of the paint for details of temperature, time, etc. for heat setting and washing.
Notes: I’ve only done this one time and I’m already sure it’s something you have to do a couple of times to get to know the best way of doing it. I don’t think i’d be too worried about getting a perfect print however, because the charm of this technique is the uneven, imperfect printed look.
every blog should start with a weird self portrait.0 notes