Monday, February 22, 2016

Glue resist on fabric

I have been sorting out my textile magazines and have come across a few different techniques I want to try out. One of the techniques I have seen a few times is a glue resist on fabric so I decided to experiment with it.

Each article I read was a little different but the basic technique is to use washable glue to draw a design on fabric and then add color over it when it is dry. Later on the glue is washed away to reveal the design, looking a lot like batik without using hot wax. In almost all of the articles they mentioned using the blue Elmers washable gel glue. I was unable to get that here (unless I ordered online) so I decided to try a few different glues that were available to me in the local shops.

 Basically I chose any of the washable glues that I could find. The two Elmers products were on clearance so I doubt I will be able to get them again. Some of the bottles had large nozzles that were hard to control so I put those glues into small squeeze bottles that I had. That was the Crayola, the Mont Marte and the J Burrows glues. In fact the J Burrows glue bottle is so hard that I could barely squeeze it at all.

I also decided to experiment with the colors I was going to use to see the different effects I would get. Some instructions said to use paint and others mentioned dyes.

      I used some scraps of synthetic material to do my experiments on but you can use natural fibres too. This first sample was on unwashed fabric.  I wrote the name of the glue so I could find them later on. I also tried to draw small flowers with some of them but the glue spread too much. I painted over the right side of the fabric and used dye on the left.When it was dry I soaked the fabric for about an hour to soften the glue then hand washed it. The paints are very bright on the synthetic, the dye is quite muted.
     The two glues that worked the best were the Elmers white glue and the Kids glue by Portacraft (from a $2 shop). The other glues worked on the painted areas but not very well with the dye because they didn't penetrate the fibres as much. The metallic gold Dala fabric paint didn't really work at all (it is the green looking paint in the middle). It seemed to stick to the glue and not come off. At the very bottom I used a white Uniball Signo pen just to see what would happen. To my surprise it did work a little.

 This is after I threw the fabric in the washing machine to see what would happen. The crayola glue that didn't wash out properly by hand did wash away this time. Some of the white areas have become brighter too. 

This sample was done the same way but it is on washed fabric. I don't think there is much difference to the unwashed fabric. I also used the smaller bottles on this one to see if I had better control of the glues. I was able to take more care to get thinner lines.

After machine washing some of the fabric paint washed away but it is barely noticeable.

     These samples are a different variation of this technique. You place a stencil on the plain fabric first then use a silk screen ( I used a home made screen to spread the glue across the fabric. Immediately wash your screen and stencil so they don't get ruined. Then when the glue is dry paint or dye on top and leave to dry before washing out the glue.
       I used the J Burrows glue at the bottom and the Mont Marte glue gel (cheap store) at the top. Again I dyed the left side and painted the right. The left fabric is unwashed and the right washed.  I did heat set these fabrics in the microwave by placing in a microwavable bag and zapping for about 30 secs. The dye is a bit darker than the previous samples. I pressed too hard when screen printing the glue so the pattern is a bit blurred but the basic idea works. With a bit more practice I should get a clear image. The glue doesn't resist as well with this technique so the white is not as bright. 

After machine washing the fabric is as soft as it was originally, even the painted side. I think this would be a great way to make some pretty fabric of your own to use in your textile projects. You could probably do more stencils and colors on top of these for a multi-layered look. The possibilities are endless.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Colour me positive week 2

I have fallen behind with my colour me positive challenge already. I think I have been distracted by textile experiments and am unsure whether I will continue or not. In the meantime here is a step by step of my week 2 page.

The quote for this one was "She took the leap and built her wings on the way down"

I decided to sketch a leaping person. It took a while to get it to look right but finally I was happy with the sketch. I used a journal page that was already painted pink with watercolor. 

I used some stencils and acrylic paint to add patterns to the page. I sprayed on some dye ink while the page was still wet to make the paint bleed a bit. 

I wanted to make it a bit more orange so I added a few more stencils and paint.

I couldn't stop myself from having fun and added even more paint because I thought the red stood out too much. I was not unhappy with the finished look but I could have stopped after the first step. 

Next I painted the hessian (or burlap in some countries) white and stamped that onto the page for a different texture. I liked it and added a bit more here and there. I also did the same stamping with green paint and bubblewrap.

 I painted on the leaping figure and used a white pen to add some lines. I added some white dots with a flick of the paint brush. I wrote the quote with a pitt pen and thought that the page was finished.

A couple of days later I decided I wanted to add a little pattern to the green paint of the silhouette so used a stencil and some copper paint to go over the girls dress. Now it is definitely finished.

Friday, February 19, 2016

An experimental textile piece

This year my textile group ATASDA has asked us to make circles for the display at the craft fair in August. There are no restrictions and they can be any medium and any colour. I decided I was going to try out some of the techniques I have been reading about in my magazines. 

The first technique is from a textile artist called Margaret M Roberts. She was featured in Quilting Arts magazine Issue 4 (winter 01) and on the cover. Unfortunately there were no instructions, just images of her work and a brief description but I was intrigued so I gave it a go in my own way.

I dyed my own cotton fabrics and some synthetics but I only used the cottons in the end because they were the colors I liked. I frayed some of the fabrics or used the edge that was already frayed. Most of the work is machine stitched with a little hand embroidery.  I did include some of those novelty yarns that are around now. The grass in the foreground is actually a scrap of dyed mohair fabric that was left over from making a teddy. It didn't match as much as I wanted so I painted some acrylic paint over the fur and when dry embroidered the flowers to make it go with the rest of the fabrics. Initially I intended to make the colors darker but somehow I ended up with this bright piece. It should look good on the black display boards at the craft fair.

I want to try another one and make it more Australian in design. That will happen in the next couple of months. Meantime I have several other things on the go that I will share soon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Experimenting again with fabric paper.

I forgot to share the fabric paper experiments I made when I was testing the technique so here they are...

This first one has the wrapping paper underneath but I turned some of it over to the plain white side to make a checkerboard pattern. I did more machine stitching on this sample. I used a different tissue here and you can see some of it tore when it was wet. If you are going to paint over it later on that probably wouldn't matter, or it could be just the look you are trying to achieve.  Experiment with small samples of what you have before you start a big project.

 In these samples I used different paints on top to see how they would cover the design underneath. The gold is Lumiere paint and the other two samples are Golden artist acrylic. I put them on thinly so there was still some transparency.

This sample is the same paper as above but I used Silks acrylic glaze by Dreaming Color on top. It is more opaque than I thought it would be but is metallic so very shiny. It is an interesting effect. I also tested some Viva Inka-gold paint along one edge. 

So what can you do with all this fabric paper?  I made a grid style collage.

I used the fabric paper as the background and for some of the individual rectangles. I was testing out some ideas for my textile group's current challenge using recycled materials. Can you spot the pull tabs that have been embossed near the bottom left? I also have a bread tag on there, an old ice cream stick and an old bluebird earring that has lost it's mate. I raided my stash for a few extra embellishments and charms. I added beads, sequins, machine and hand stitching.  I like the way it turned out so I am going to do something similar for my challenge piece.

I did it as two journal pages so I can make a fabric art journal because I have run out of wall space to put all my art now. I will be adding pages throughout the year.