Saturday 7 July 2018

Printing and overprinting with Transfer Dyes and Leaves

Summer is in full swing, the garden is in full bloom with lots of possibilities for inspiration as well as materials you can use in your artworks!

In today's tutorial I wanted to show you how to do basic printing and overprinting with Colourcraft Transfer Dyes as well as using some different plant materials as masks in the printing process. I've made a series of prints which I will eventually use in Art Quilts etc.

Transfer Dyes, as well as transfer paints and transfer crayons, are colors that you can paint and draw on regular paper with and then transfer to your fabric by ironing. These materials are made to be used on fabrics with polyester content or with Transfix on natural fabrics.

First I prepared my dyes and painted onto papers using brushes, droppers, toothbrush-just trying to create different textures and color combinations, having fun! The colors change when ironed on, the uncertainty is part of the magic.
I tried to make a group of papers with the intention of being backgrounds:
and other papers with the intention of overprinting to add more texture:
Next I collected some leaves etc from my garden, as well as clipped some of the papers and I found some paper flowers as well.
Time to print!!
I laid my fabric (a 100% polyester satin) face up on my ironing board laid out some ferns and placed one of my background papers face down on top. I set the iron to the highest heat my fabric can take (be careful as a lot of polyester fabrics melt with high heat!) and pressed. I held my paper in place and pressed quite hard and long to try to get the best transfer possible.
Here you can see the first printing! (I moved my ferns out of the way so you can see how they acted as a mask):
I quite liked how this one was turning out, but the masked out areas felt a bit empty to me. So I put on one of my texture papers and ironed again:

I kept going, testing different plants and leaves- I found that individual, simple shaped leaves worked better. I especially liked the bamboo, ferns and palm leaves effects. You CAN use your papers to print more than one time! The prints get lighter, but they work at least 2-3 times. I also liked the effects I was getting with paper flowers and cutting out paper strips etc. 
Here are some of the results I got! 
I see lots of potential for developing these further, I hope you do too!
Have fun experimenting, I would love to see your results.
See you again soon!

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