Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Printing on Fabric

I’ve been experimenting with gum arabic transfer and text recently with the aim of making a small book but last week I decided to try floating the text over the image rather than setting it into it.

I considered different types of paper but decided that they were too opaque. I had been reading Sue Brown’s blog and she was talking about printing on fabric so I thought I’d see if printing onto gauze would work. While I was digging through the fabric remnants I found some shiny organza and some fine gauze. I also found some lovely lightweight shiny stuff (I’m not good at fabric) and some old cotton sheeting that I thought might work for the background image as an alternative to paper.
I enlarged and re arranged the text and re worked the images so that they would balance. I didn’t have enough of the remnants to do the full set so I’ve only printed some samples (using blue, brown and silver ink) to see if they would work. It looks promising

On paper
On sheeting

 On  shiny stuff
On gauze
On organza
And layered in various combinations

I went to  to see  if I could get some more of the same fabric but no chance. The woman said she hadn’t seen any of the ‘shnny stuff’ for ages and the gauzes they had weren’t quite as fine as the one I’d tried. But I bought half a metre of a couple of things and I’ll see if they’ll work.

The layering looks better in life than it does on the screen


  1. Fascinating effect. I have to say I would never have thought of using gum arabic printing with fabric. I don't know why! It's just lovely!

    1. I am pleased with the effect but I haven't a clue how I'm going to mount and frame them

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  3. Do the layers need a small separation for best effect, or does one simply lie on top the the other? I know some textile artists mount their work onto pre-stretched canvases.

    1. I think the top layer would benefit from a little separation if possible. The problem I have is there will be three images made up of three pieces of fabric, all of which are prone to distortion.
      Ideally I'd like them together in the one frame or canvas and I'm struggling with what to do with the raw edges. When I've printed on the new fabric I can explore putting the original experiments together

    2. Good luck with it! I look forward to seeing your experiments and your solution. :)


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