It is time to put some of my design ideas into practice by painting and and printing them.
I have practised many painting and printing techniques during the interlude, I used block printing, relief printing, stencils, masks and hand painting.
We are now asked to remember that there are other ways of expressing design ideas other than paint and print, stitch was also used in some of the past projects. A combination of different media can be used successfully to enhance the creative work.
Stage 1 - Reviewing your Collection of Fabrics
The first instruction in this project is to "Take out your fabric collection" - this may take some time.....
We need to
- find at least a dozen textile surfaces on which to paint and print.
- Spend some time handling each one.
- Notice the particular qualities of surface and weight
I have a large cupboard of fabrics, I had initially worried that I would not have enough choice.... until I looked through - here is what I found.
I have edited this post before it appeared in the blog - further down in this post I mention a site which tells you how to determine the fabric content of material by burning it.
I have just done this - I set fire to a small piece of each fabric with a lighter and noted down the different aspects of each as they burned. I tried to note what colour the flame was, what the smell was, the type of ash produced etc.
Although I may not be completely accurate, I did have some assistance from my son as well, some of my fabrics have changed.)
Fabrics 1 - 5 (left to right
|Selection 1 of fabrics from my stash|
Fabric 1 - Silk
This is a soft, off-white fabric that has a sheen to it.
Closely woven - doesn't fray as easily as some fabrics will.
It is fine, smooth and slightly transparent.
I have a small amount of this fabric in my collection - but it is easily available to buy locally, both in the fabric stores as well as the craft shops.
I know from my painting experiments that it will take paint beautifully, but, not being synthetic, may not take some of the transfer paints and crayons.
Burn test: yes it is silk.
Fabric 2 - Voile
This is a crisp, pure white fabric that is prone to fraying, it has a shimmering quality.
It is fine, smooth, transparent and made from a synthetic fibre - polyester.
I have a large piece of this fabric - but it is also easily available in the local fabric stores.
The synthetic nature of this material will make it easy to cut with a soldering iron (this would also prevent it from fraying). It would also make it suitable for use with transfer paints and crayons.
Burn test: yes it is polyester.
Fabric 3 - Satin
This is a soft, supple white fabric that has a soft sheen to it.
It has a smooth finish, is opaque and made from a polyester fibre.
I have used this fabric successfully with the transfer paints/crayons in the Interlude experiments, being synthetic it would also cut well with a soldering iron.
The fabric does fray, but not excessively. It is widely available locally.
Burn test: yes it is Polyester.
Fabric 4 - Printed Satin.
This is similar to the previous fabric.
The main difference is that the fabric is printed with flowers across the surface.
The body of the fabric is shiny the flowers are dull - this should create an interesting finish when printed or painted on.
Burn test: It turned out to be nylon.
Fabric 5 - Cream silky fabric
Have just looked up a site which has information on How to determine fabric content - to ascertain what kind of fabric this is. I will be burning a piece of it later to find out.
However, it is smooth and silky and creamy in colour.
It has a synthetic feel to it, although it resembles the silk fabric when handling it - it is soft and smooth, but feels colder to the touch.
It appears to fray more easily than the silk does.
Burn test: it appears to be acetate.
Fabrics 6 - 11 (left to right)
|Selection 2 of fabrics from my stash|
Fabric 6 - Butter muslin
It is a fine fabric, loosely woven with a creamy colour.
A natural fibre that frays easily.
It takes paint well and will mould into shapes and texures when glue is applied to the surface.
Muslin has a nice smoothish texture.
Burn test: cotton.
Fabric 7 - Calico
This is another fabric made from natural fibres.
It has a smooth surface, but is much thicker and more tightly woven than muslin.
The colour is a natural cream.
This is a great painting and stitching surface, and should take most printing processes well - unless they require a synthetic surface.
Burn test: cotton
Fabric 8 - Quilting quality cotton
This was sold to me as muslin for quilting.
It is 100% cotton and is a creamy colour.
This fabric is not as heavy as the calico, but will take painting and printing and stitching processes well.
I used a similar fabric (in blue) for some of the stencil and masking techniques in the Interlude experiments.
Burn test: cotton
Fabric 9 - Cotton lawn
This is a soft, semi sheer, off-white fabric, made from natural fibres.
It has a smooth surface and is more tightly woven than the muslin fabric, but not as tight as the quilting cotton.
It would work well with paint, print and stitch techniques; as well as being suitable to layer and mould like the muslin.
Burn test: Definitely not cotton, we think this one is polyester from the amount of black smoke that appeared.
Fabric 10 - Synthetic felt.
Soft, white slightly bumpy surface.
This would work well with the transfer paints and crayons, (I have used this before), being careful not to melt/singe the fabric under the hot iron.
It is soft and would take stitching very well - depending on the type of paint used would determine whether the felt would become stiff.
Burn test: Acrylic
Fabric 11 - Quilt batting
Off-white fabric with a slightly bumpy surface.
It would work well as a surface to stitch, also to pad out a fabric surface.
This will be an interesting surface to work with as I'm not sure how the fabric would take paints and printing techniques.
Burn test: Cotton
Fabrics 12 - 16 (left to right)
|Selection 3 of fabrics from my stash|
Fabric 12 - linen: printed and reverse sides shown in the photograph
This has a smooth finish and a tight weave.
The fabric frays if pulled.
It is a beige fabric with printing on the surface.
It is easy to stitch and will take some of the painting and printing techniques.
Burn test: linen
Fabric 13 - Painters canvas
This is a stiff, tightly woven fabric.
It is specifically designed to take paints well, and even after washing, probably has some finishing products on the surface.
It is an ideal base fabric and is robust enough to have other fabrics and paints attached to it without warping the surface.
Hand stitching is possible, but the tight weave of the fabric will make it harder to stitch than the linen.
Burn test: cotton
Fabric 14 - Hessian
A coarse fabric that can be made softer with washing and harder when glues are applied.
It has a natural beige finish.
It has a close weave, but is an ideal painting, stitching and printing surface.
Fibres can be pulled easily from the weave, this would make it easier to thread thicker yarns through or to 'darn' with other fibres.
Burn test: this burned in a similar way to linen - hessian is a plant fibre, jute.
Fabric 15 - Scrim
This is a very loose weave fabric that is the same as hessian.
Having just looked up a description of this fabric it is referred to as: plasterers jute scrim
This fabric would not make an ideal painting and printing surface - there is not enough surface, but it could be used to mould other fabrics over, or as a surface to weave other threads and fibres through.
I have just found this link to workshop on the web which shows an interesting use of the jute scrim.
Burn test: see hessian
Fabric 16 - Fine scrim
This is another interesting product, it has a very fine thread that is woven into a loose weave fabric.
It is white in colour and seems to be used in the building and bookbinding trade.
This burned so quickly and left no ash, so it was hard to ascertain the origin of the material.
It would be similar to the jute scrim when used for textile purposes.
I intend to experiment with as many of these materials as possible in stage 3, to see how the different fabric surfaces influence the design idea.