Last summer at Blue Lake the print teacher let us play in her studio one afternoon. I had the idea of combining paper and fabric prints so I made some of both.
It turns out that we were using water soluble ink, so the fabric prints would not be washable. Bummer! Today I decided to try and make them more permanent.
Mat gel medium, rolled out on a plastic sheet (usually pick these up as cutting mats from a dollar store)–one was a very thin layer and the pic shows the thickest layer.
The next step was the hardest–lay the fabric face down and wait for it to dry!
I was a little impatient and pulled the first one, the one with the thinnest layer of medium, while it did still feel a bit damp. Not good!
Pulled the ink off the fabric and left it on the plastic. The other prints came off very nicely, but the gel medium gives them that nice plastic finish that I’m not crazy about.
Next experiment–iron, wrinkle, iron again…some of the wrinkle lines remain, even though the back looks perfectly flat. Not a problem for me, since I will want the texture when I use these.
Now the original question–will this make the inks permanent? No, it does not!
A lot of the color came out with just a quick rinse and the medium got kind of flaky. It laid down smoothly again after another ironing. Also, I used the piece that was not completely coated…again, I’m a mixed texture lover, so none of this is a disaster to me. Simply additional texture.
My last experiment was to lay one of the prints ‘plastic’ side down and get it wet to see what would happen. Aaaand………the ink would have rinsed out if I had done this in a sink. As it was, the ink pooled and moved but remained and the print still has good color. (No pic, sorry.)
I decided that I did not want to bother putting medium on both sides of the prints. That would have made them very, very plastic-y and having it on the right side of the fabric is enough to protect it from casual water drips during or after construction use.
The next step will be to sew with it, but that will have to wait for another day! I love ‘what if’ days!