Archive for the ‘Technique Like’ Category

Fabric Painting 2 – Transfer Printing with Ink Effects

October 9, 2012

Transfer printing is when you paint onto paper and then iron it onto the cloth, in most cases synthetic. Only certain paints will do this and generally only on fabric with lots of polyester in it. However Ink Effects Transfer paint changes that. It will transfer to fabric with 30% cotton in it and also you can buy a basecoat paint which allows you to transfer designs to fabrics with a higher cotton content.

Now in the past I have shown you transfer painting by splattering it onto paper etc, so this time I desided to do something different. Using a royalty free design from Dover publications, I printed it onto paper and then painted over the design using Ink Effects Transfer paint.

Ink Effects painted onto Paper

Ink Effects painted onto Paper

The true colour of the paint doesn’t show up until you transfer it onto the fabric. It’s a good idea to have a test swatch of colours printed onto fabric so you can see how the colour turns out.

Ink Effects printed onto Lutradur

Ink Effects printed onto Lutradur

In this case I used a heavy weight lutradur to recieve the design. You can see I printed the design twice across the fabric. Each time I print, I increase the time. 30 seconds for the first print, 45 for the next and so on. Now, you may be thinking that with synthetics you use a cool iron – not in this case! Use as much heat as you can to get the transfer to occur – I had my iron set on linen for example. Also keep the iron moving otherwise you print the steam holes! I also put down baking paper to protect the ironing board from accidential transfers of colour and if the fabric is larger then the painted paper. Its best to get the heat directly onto the painted paper, however watch the hot iron doesn’t touch the unprotected fabric.

Technique summary:
Paint Paper, let dry
Place baking paper on ironing board
Lay synthetic fabric down (light coloured), place painted design face down onto it
Have iron hot and baking paper around to protect any fabric not covered by painted paper
Iron painted paper with a continuous motion for 30 seconds
Remove paper, turn off iron.

Ink effects – great colour – great price too – see the range at my store Essential Textile Art. You can keep on printing until all the paint is used up, off the paper and then you have wonderful collage papers to play with too!


Fabric Painting 1 – Lumiere and Dye Na Flow Paints

September 17, 2012

I decided to do a few posts on fabric paints as they are an easy way to colour your colour without the fuss of dyeing. Above we have a few pieces that have the fabric paint Lumiere on them. Jacquard’s Lumiere paint is a metallic fabric paint which is water based, opaque and heat set. Taking each of those things separately water based means that you can wash up your equipment in water and also you can thin the paint with water. Opaque means that Lumiere has covering power. So if you paint over black or white fabric the paint doesn’t allow the colour of the cloth underneath to show through. Lastly heat set – this means the paint becomes permanent when you either iron the cloth or pop it in the drier. remember to allow the paint to dry first before ironing it for 2-3 minutes to set it. Once set, you can then wash the coloured cloth without fear of losing the colour.

How do I apply it? You can stamp it on as in the two pieces on the left side or you can apply with a paint brush, roller.. the list goes on – have fun and try experimenting with different things. Anything to watch out for? Only thin the paint to a maximum of 1/4 water to 3/4 paint otherwise the pigment starts to separate from the binder which means you get funny lines in your painting. Overall Lumiere is the best opaque metallic paint for fabric that I’ve used.

Secondly today we have Dye Na Flow – so named because it’s a paint that acts like a dye. Jacquard’s Dye-Na-Flow is a very watery paint which at first I didn’t like until I discovered how versatile it was. Dye-Na-Flow is water based, transparent and heat set. So as above, you can wash this paint out in water and use an iron to set the paint. Transparent means that you will see the colour of the cloth through the paint so its best used on light coloured fabrics. The watery aspect means that both sides of the cloth will be covered by the paint as it seeps through into the fibres. Both Lumiere and Dye-Na-Flow can be used on natural or synthetic fabrics with great results.

What makes Dye-Na-Flow so unique? You can do a lot of different effects with it – for example the image above is all sunprinting with Dye-Na-Flow. Simply place an object on top – stencil, shells, washers and then leave the paint in the sun to dry. You can also create salt effects with it by sprinkling rock salt over the paint and leaving it to dry. The paint can also be sprayed onto cloth using one of the many mister or spray bottles available. You can build up layers of colour by heat setting after each layer of paint. Shaving cream marbeling is also easy with Dye-Na-Flow – messy but lots of fun!! Anything to watch for? Dye-Na-flow will travel to the most absorbant thing it touches so always dry your cloth on plastic.

Fabric painting – lots of fun and asy to colour your cloth. Check out more information at Jacquard’s home page. Like to buy some? Check out my shop at Essential Textile Art.

Derwent Artbars – fun on fabric!

August 20, 2012

Derwent Artbars

Derwent Artbars can be used on fabric in much the same way that the inktense pencils can however it’s possible to use them dry as well as wet. The artbars are water soluable wax crayons in a triangular form, making them easy to hold while working with them. A simple bit of fun to explore is to do a background wash on a piece of fabric.

Wash with Artbars

In this case simply wet the fabric with water and then colour the cloth with the Artbars, letting the colour flow across the fabric. The easiest way to apply is to snap off a small section and then hold that so one side touches the fabric, then sweep it across the wet surface.


Place a stencil or textured surface below the fabric and then rub the artbar across the fabric to bring the texture to the front. Rubbings are best done on DRY fabric so that the marks remain distinct.


For a bit of textural fun, after you have created your background wash and allowed it to dry, use a wet paint brush to flick paint onto the cloth from the artbar. Use the brush to wet the artbar and then with a smooth action flick the paint laden brush across the fabric. Don’t hold the artbar over the fabric otherwise you’ll get big drops of colour onto the fabris – or maybe you want this effect?!

Play, experiment and have fun! The bars do not leave a waxy residue or feel on the fabric. If you would like to purchase some then check out my store Essential Textile Art.



Making fabric with Crash

May 14, 2012

Crash fabric is like crinkle lutradur. The crinkled fabric does great things with playing with the light that hits it when painted or coloured. Lightweight, similar to Lutradur 30, it gives a wonderful textured look to your work. However for some projects its good to have a fabric with a bit more body. By layering up Crash you can create a wonderfully textured Fabric to use for journal covers, bags and purses…whatever you like!

Gather your supplies: Crash fabric, WonderUnder Fusible Web, paints, gesso, iron, ironing board and baking paper. Step 1: Cut the Crash fabric in half. Lay half down on your ironing board. Step 2:  Lay down the WonderUnder over the Crash fabric.


Step 3: Tear up the other half of the Crash fabric into small pieces and place over the WonderUnder randomly.

Step 4: Place the baking paper over the whole pile of fabric. Iron on medium setting to adhere all layers.


Step 5: Move the fabric to a plastic coated table. You have a choice here – to coat with gesso or not. Go to Step 6 if you do not wish to gesso the fabric. A coating of gesso will give the fabric greater robustness for bags etc. Continuing with the gesso-ed example, paint the gesso over the whole surface. Allow to dry. Be aware that the paint will go through the fabric.

Step 6: Paint with your fabric paints or sprays. Allow to dry. Use lumiere over the surface with a fan brush to give the fabric a metallic sparkle. This technique is called dry brush because you don’t add water. Simply dip only the very tips of the fan brush in the lumiere paint and then brush across your piece at an angle of about 30 degrees to the fabric surface.

Fabric not painted with gesso being coloured with Tumble dyes

Painted Crash fabric – paints used are tumble dyes with Lumiere dry brushed over the top. It’s now ready to be sealed with Mod Podge, acrylic wax or even gel medium. The fabric is still flexible and is ready to be made up into whatever you like! Kits are available with Crash fabric and WonderUnder for you to play with, see my shop site for details of the Crash Kit.

Lumiere 3D Paint and Glue

April 16, 2012

Jacquard’s new Lumiere 3D Paint and Adhesive is a fantastic addition to Jacquard’s metallic paint range. 3D lumiere is thick and creamy in texture making it easy to use to get texture into your work, plus it can be used as a glue to embed sequins, beads and other found objects into your owrk. I had a play with some manilla tags to see what I could do.

Using my favourite tumble dyes for background color, I then stamped into some blue and green 3D lumiere Paint and Adhesive and then stamped onto the card. The result is a great crusty texture that just sparkles in the sun.

Playing with the reds and gold lumiere 3D paint meant I started getting some interesting raised areas – a sprayed over the metallic paint with the tumble dyes to let the colour surround and settle into the lower areas of the raised stamping.  I also used a bamboo skewer on another set of cards to manipulate the thick paint.

Best part of the product – very easy to get the paint out of the tube, great applicator and good design of lid to seal the bottle when finished. Least favourite – air bubbles can occur so if you’re after a straight thick line it can be a challenge to achieve it.

What more can you do – play with stencils. The thick paint make using it with stancils a breeze Here I a lovely Thai silk and my current favourite stencil

Then I applied the paint using an old credit card to push the paint through the stencil.

It gave me a raised design onto the silk with according to the bottle will take about 72 hours to dry completely if I suddenly wanted to launder the silk. What was the easiets part of this: moving the paint through the stencil, I didn’t have to work fast- I could do it in my own pace, a little at a time. Worst part: deciding to leave the journal underneath during the stencilling – what was I thinking!! I’ve now make it up into the journal cover but I think its better just to use a light pencil mark or other means to mark where you want to put the stencil.

My favourite section of the design on what is now my “free to be me” journal. I’m using the Fabriano Square journals as I just love the different size to the usual A5 portrait or landscape journal. Overall, I think there is a lot of creative scope for this product.

Dyeing Silk Cocoons

February 25, 2012

Check out my latest article in Embellish magazine – chatting about dyeing auxillaries this time. Thinking about this and the images I used took me back to when I was dyeing silk cocoons. Not the easiest thing to do using the traditional steamed fixing with a steamer pot – they all go soft and flatten. So what’s the answer – using a microwave to steam the little things!!

Now that microwaves are a lot cheaper its possible to get either a second hand one or cheap one for dyeing. I had bought one for $60 but then it ended up in the kitchen when my daughter tried to defrost toast for 20mins in my old microwave. I didn’t notice the smoke until the 12th minute… But the cheapie microwave only lasted about 12 months and a day and then died..right when Brisbane flooded and it wasn’t possible to get out to get a newbie. So the old faithful came back into the kitchen, smelt a bit of smoke but has still kept on going strong.

Next cheapie purchase – the microwave was now $45. Also microwave containers with that plastic grill thing at the bottom to hold the coccons above the excess dye liquid. You need to used separate containers for dyeing and cooking otherwise you could end up very sick. Next stage – experiment.. pour small amounts of acid dye over the cocoons and then steam for 10 seconds in microwave, allow to cool and then rinse to check its set. Tips – only pour small amounts of dye onto the cocoons as the dye streads and you really don’t need a lot of dye. You also want to steam the cocoons not boil them!

Why acid dyes? They give the best colour on silk. My favourite acid dye? Jacquard Acid dyes – excellent colour and easy to use. The acid involved is vinegar. Take 1 cup of hot water, 1 drop of detergent, 2 teaspoons of dye powder and a dollop of vinegar (12.5mls for the pedantic!) and mix to dissolve dye. This solution is now active. Pour carefully over cocoons in microwave bowl. Steam for the length of time you have determined for your machine (I did 10 seconds for mine). If you are concerned about burning then if the microwave is powerful, drop the power level to at least 70% to start with. Allow to cool, then rinse in water. Best of all you end up with brillant colour and the cocoons keeping their shape.

Lastly – SAFETY FIRST with all this. (Okay – the first thing is last, I know…) Use separate containers for all the dye stuff, wear protective colthes including gloves, dust mask when mixing up the powder and never use any kitchen utensils for dyeing – buy a separate set of microwave dishes as well as the microwave!! Also easy does it – don’t saturate the cocoons with heaps of excess dye. Above all, look after yourself and enjoy the dyeing process.

Like dyeing? Why not check out this month’s Embellish magazine – lots of interesting textile stuff!

Doodling Along with Shiva Stiks…

February 13, 2012

Cedar Cayon has brought out a new set of rubbing plates (called Doodles) so I decided to combine my favourite paints of the moment, tumble dyes, and do a bit of rubbing. The great thing about the tumble dyes is that you can colour your cloth any way you want. When dry I just taped one of the new Doodle plates to my drop sheet and popped the coloured cloth over to have some fun with rubbing them with shiva stiks.

A little blue number

Okay testing to see if the words disappear again…. and they didn’t so I’ll rewrite them!! Blog having one of those days! 🙂 Above was my favourite from all the designs I did. I used copper, red and white on the rubbing, all irridescent Shiva rubbing stiks.

A little green number..

I finished with the purple number so I have all six designs onto cloth now. Just got to do the making up into a wall hanging now. Had fun with the humidity. Shiva paint stiks remain wet for a long time in humid weather so I’m waiting 7 days before I heat set with the iron. Also it was the first time I didn’t have to cut off the protection skin, it just rubbed off because of the high humidity. So the Shiva paint stiks were very soft.

A little bit purple..

Lastly I was creating my own stamps from the rubbing plates using the heat’n’mold stamps. I used a brayer to roll it into the surface. Its a bit hard to see because the flash kept washing out the contrast.

Using the Doodle Rubbing plates to create a stamp

Playing with Mica Fragments

February 8, 2012

Got some Mica Fragments the other day so decided to have a play with them. They quite large flakes considering we usually see mica in powder form as in Pearl Ex Powders by Jacquard. I decided to combine a few things to see what happended as you need something for the mica to stick to. So I got out some Filigree Fluid which is like a puff paste but only puffs up in a subtle way compared to Permaset’s Puff paste which gives you lots of puff for little paste.

What I used to create the textured surface

Instead of using the needle point applicator of the Filigree fluid I took the lid off and applied it to the cloth using the tooth brush so I could get some texture. The cloth I had pre-coloured using Tumble dyes which are lots of fun.

Filigree fluid over the cloth

Next I sprinkled some embossing powder in blue and white and also the mica fragments. I tried crushing the fragments but they are really very flexible so they didn’t crush down easily. This I see as an advantage when using on textiles as they will flex with the movement of the cloth.

Cloth after heating and textured surface created.


Its a bit hard to tell from the photo but the result is a very crusty surface thast is very flexible. I used Opal embossing powders which are renown for their good flexibility but what amazed me was how the large mica flakes stayed attached.

Close up of crusty surface


The other way to use the mica flakes is simply to embed them in paint. Again its amazing how they stick and stay put even when you flex the cloth. All I did was to paint the fabric, sprinkle the fragments where I wanted them, then placed a piece of baking paper over and rolled it with a brayer to ensure the mica fragments were embeded.  They have stayed stuck fast!

I think Mica Fragments add that extra dimension to surfaces, especially when trying to make a very textured result.

More Tumble Dye action…

December 1, 2011

Try spraying a T-shirt too – a great fun project for kids of all ages. After spraying, air dry the piece the heat set in the dryer for twenty minutes to make the colour permanent and washable.


T-shirt spraying with tumble dyes

 Overprinting with the Tumble Dyes


Printing over with Walnut Tumble Dye

SEI Tumble syes are so easy to use. No messy chemicals or lengthy preparation. Just shake the bottle and off you go. Its great with stencils or other found object or use simply to colour cloth. We found we had good results with a variety of fabrics.


Fun with Tumble Dyes

November 29, 2011

Tumble Dyes are water based and heat set

Tumble dyes are water based, heat set, permanent and washable. You can use it on fabric, ribbon, lace, silks, dried flowers, baskets, wood , paper and more. You can apply them by spraying or painting them on the fabric. Combine them with stencils to have lots of fun.

To use the sprays simply place your cloth on a level surface. Place the stencil on top. Shake the bottle of Tumble Dye well – this is important to ensure its all mixed up.  Spray the colour onto the cloth.

Spraying onto cloth


Colour over the whole stencil


Spray a series of images along the cloth


 Tumble dyes are great for tie dye and of course scrunch dyeing in a tub. Simply place wet fabric in a tub. Scrunch up, spray with a colour, move and scrunch again then spray with the next colour. use at least 3 colours to create an interesting fabric.

Scrunch dyeing in a tub

 Tumble dyes are a great way to create your own unique cloth to transform into fantastic textile art. We tried Tumble dyes on a variety of fabrics and ended up with lots to use.  The best part was that even with 3 of us using the sprays and basically going for it, trying out whatever we pleased, there was still lots of colour left in the bottle. In most cases we still had half a bottle of dye left. This was impressive as we’ve all experienced the sprays which run out after colouring 1 – 2 pieces of cloth. Overall we had a fantastic day playing with Tumble Dyes!

Some of our tumble dyed cloth


If you would like to purchase some check out my online store at Essential Textile Art