We've already explored a few fabric manipulations: permanent pleating, dip dying (aka. ombre) and printing fabric using your inkjet printer. There are other "old school" methods which I would like to explore over the next few posts. One of them is the method of copying an image to fabric using a transfer medium sold under a variety of brand names (Modge Podge, Liquidex Gel, Picture This, just to name a few.) While those iron-on transfu;er sheets are less messy and perhaps, easier to use, transfer medium does not not require a computer or printer. It is a product which interacts with printed images (produced by a powder toner source like laser printers and photocopiers) and binds permanently onto the fabric. It is pointless to use any fancy fabric since the end result ignores the original material's properties and simply leaves a new surface that lays on top which is somewhat less plastic than the results from the iron-on sheets. So feel free to use muslin or a lightweight cotton as your base. One other thing--you can also apply a logo, photo or medallion directly to an existing garment so long as it is washable.
Full sheet image
Let's get started. For this project you will need some sort of "Transfer Medium" which can be found in crafts stores, along with a sponge brush, water, and a board or surface lined with waxed paper or non-cling plastic (to keep the mess to a minimum). There are a number of ways we can go with this. My first thought was to create a page of a print. For this, I used a photo of a rose with the intent of creating an abstract print to be used for a jacket. I planned to create the printed fabric, then lay out my pattern and cut out create the jacket.
1. Make a photocopy of your photo. Inkjet images will not work. You can also use images from magazines or newspapers so long as they use powder based toners. Apply the medium thickly over the image.
2. When you are finished, you should not be able to see the image. Place the coated imaged onto the fabric and with your fingers, smooth out the paper side, to ensure there are no bubbles or wrinkles. Wipe away any excess product. Allow to dry for several hours or overnight.
4. If the paper starts to dry out before you are finished, spray the paper with more water and continue. You know when you are finished with the paper no longer peels away. Allow your fabric to completely dry then lay out your pattern, cut and assemble.
Mistakes I made: I did not everything out on the paper side and as a result, there were wrinkles in the paper which set in the fabric. I also did not apply an even thick layer. As a result, the wrinkles were imbedded in the final finish and, while rubbing the paper away, I rubbed part of the image away as well. Nonetheless, I decided I liked what appeared to be veins running through the image which, I can opt to replicate or avoid the next time around.
|One of the more lovely ways Barbie can wear pink!|
I made the skirt using a photo of a rose I clipped out of a magazine. This time, instead of the image covering the fabric, I wanted a "placed motif." I used a satin because I thought the contrast between the coating and the shiny fabric would be interesting. I positioned the image so that the center of the rose would fall at the center front of the skirt.
Proceed using the steps described above.
When you have finished, you will notice how "washed out" the image appears (middle photo). I use a tiny, tiny bit of hand crème directly on the image to bring the colors back up. (bottom image)
That was quite an ambitious project. I would strongly recommend your starting with something smaller....like making a logo or an image for a T-shirt.
2. Apply the transfer medium to the logo, smooth out to remove bubbles and pleats then allow to dry thoroughly.
3. When completely dry, wet the patch.
6. Gently rub away the paper.
7. Allow to dry
As you see, any image can be applied to either a light or dark garment. I will say that, until you master the technique, this medium tends to be quite messy, so you might want to stick to the light backgrounds for the moment. One other note: your image will be slightly "worn" so it's best to chose images that lend themselves to a "vintage look."
All the news that's fit to print.....Printing A la carte
For my "newspaper" garment, I decided to cut the photocopy to fit the pattern pieces, which was not only easier, but saved time. The processes are identical to those above. Just remember to
1. Make a mirror image of text!
2. Cover each piece thickly with product. Lay it on the surface of each pattern piece.
4. Rub away the paper carefully. Allow to dry
Assemble the garment.
More dolly textiles to follow! Stay tuned!
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