Friday, February 21, 2014

Drawing on a new fabric

I continued with my little "up-cycling duvet cover projects" and made more dresses for my little girl and a bag, until I finally ran out of the cotton pieces made from that cover. 
To my pleasant surprise, these small things I made led to few more requests of bags and gadget cases from my family and friends. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to experiment with different fabrics, and on a new one this time!

Painting on new fabric was different from the used one. Firstly because I needed to pre-treat it before I could paint on it. 

My pre-treatment of the fabric is quite simple, I first sew the edges of the fabric in zigzag to stop it from fraying. Then wash it with a washing machine like I normally wash clothes without a softener. Because softener seems to leave a coating on surface of the fabric, and may prevent the paints and dyes to lock on the fibers....resulting in discoloring after the first wash. 

After few tries I discovered that I prefer to draw on a natural material like cotton or linen, because the colour appears more vibrant and also the paints seem to engage better with the fibers. 

When I finish with the drawing I usually leave it over a night to make sure it is completely dry, then heat fasten the colour by ironing it. Next, I wash the fabric to remove the excess paints and dyes. After the first wash, whatever you see usually stays. 

I also tried on T-shirts, which ended up as a disaster at first. I was starting by painting outlines with a felt tip pen type of paints at that time, but drawing on a stretchy fabric meant that you cannot apply a pressure on the fabric otherwise would smear easily. So I now use brushes only on t-shirts to draw. 

So this is how my experiments with new fabrics turned out. Discoveries one after another, and so much fun! 

Visit my gallery of past little projects <here>! :) 

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