Friday 4 October 2019

Lutradur Lantern

October is here and despite some sunshine, there is definitely a chill in the air! Here in the UK, it is time to make our homes cosy and think about having light in darker evenings. This past year I have been experimenting with Lutradur and particularly like making vessels that can be used as a lantern or as a vase.
Lutradur is a spun textile. "Hot textiles" refers to using heat with spun textiles, creating new effects for crafting projects. Did you see the leaf arrangement made with Tyvek I made last month?
Lutradur comes in several different weights (weight per square metre), which suit different uses:
Lutradur 18gsm very fine. I haven’t used this, let me know if you have and what you made?
Lutradur 30g Lightweight has transparency which can be utilised in appliqué, enabling the background(s) to show through. Further heat distressing will allow total reveal in places.
Lutradur 70g, Regular is lovely for brooches, having enough body but having a little drape.
Lutradur 100g, Medium weight has a little transparency and distinct shapes and distressed areas are easy to achieve.
Lutradur 130g, heavy weight, enables self-supporting artwork ie. small screens.
Lutradur 230g extra weight similar to felt I haven’t used this, let me know if you have and what you made?

I find the medium weight, 70gsm, is most versatile and my preference for these Lutradur Lanterns. The picture below shows lanterns I’ve made with 70g
and 130g.

Taking a rectangle of Lutradur (25 x 17cm) apply some surface decoration.
This can simply be spraying with Brusho Shimmer Spray such as the bronze I used here, or stencil with some orange Eco Metallic Acrylic Paint

In the other lanterns I have used a Markal Artist Paintstik, making freehand swirls first, before applying some Brusho or acrylic paint. I have experimented with small pieces of appliqué and couching some texture threads too!

Take care as, unlike Tyvek, paint can go through the Lutradur to what is underneath. However, any paper underneath the lighter Lutradur will gain a pleasing paint effect that could be used in another project.
Once any paint is dry I like to add stitch. Lutradur is really easy to stitch through, either by hand or by machine. In these later, more architectural lanterns, I have used a thicker thread hand wound onto my bobbin and sewn along a design marked on the wrong side, so the thicker, bobbin thread is on the right side. The marker pen with eraser ink is great for marking up any design.

Add beads preferably using invisible thread.
Folding under a little to the wrong side and stitching along the bottom edge can add stability if using the lighter Lutradur.

Now comes the hot textiles bit:
You can make a simple heat tool mat by pinning tin foil onto a folded up wad of newspaper. (a glass worktop protector can also be used).
You maybe wondering what the ceramic plant pot in the picture is for? Well, I find it really handy to have upside-down next to my heat mat and put the heat tool down through the hole. This avoids burns and damage.
Work in a well-ventilated space and avoid distractions.

Using a Fabric Master Heat Tool, I cut out window shapes and added a variety of sized dots. These will add to the design and also allow light through the lantern. I also distressed the top edge too.
I just used the one plain pointed tip, but there are several that come with the heat tool. If you do change tips, take care as they are really hot, switch off and allow to cool down. You can get some silicone finger protectors, but do still do take care!

The final stage is to form a cylinder around an empty glass jar and secure the overlapped edge with some invisible thread stitch (or glue). The lanterns look good on a shelf all year round, but as twilight approaches they are great with a tealight inside the glass jar.

I love to see all the different lanterns produced when I run a Paint & Stitch workshop with Lutradur. I would love to see your creations too.

Helen x

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