Thursday, 28 August 2014

Setting Inktense with Textile Medium

Inktense on linen 
Pre wash:

I went over the rabbit again, this time adding a layer of Textile medium over it, letting it dry, then heat setting with a HOT iron

top square of colour: I wet the fabric with normal water, drew on with Inktense, let it dry, then applied Textile Medium and heat set
Spots left to right: 1. Yellow spot: I applied a thin layer of textile Medium, while it was wet, I added Inktense over and mixed with paintbrush
2. Plum spot: Shaved off some Inktense and mixed it with Textile Medium before applying to fabric
3. Plum and orange spot: testing mixing colours, Painted on thin layer of Textile Medium, then drew on with Inktense, using brush to mix colours
4. Red and orange spot:  Applied thick layer of Textile medium to fabric, and then mixed Inktense directly into it on the fabric

Now, off to the wash we go….

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Pen and Inktense on fabric

Test run on Linen : Inktense and fabric marker pen.

60°C pre-washed linen (no fabric softener)I used the crayon transfer method described in my previous post to get the rabbit's outline onto the fabric.  Then I covered small areas of the rabbit in a thin layer of Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera gel.  I apply this with a paintbrush for precision.

I applied Inktense colours to the wet gel, left the rabbit to dry as much as possible, heat set him with a hot iron, and this is the result (pre wash):

Now, let's see how he fares in the wash!
Last time my Inktense sketch disappeared, hopefully I have it right this time.

Thought it may be wise at this point to do a wash test

Before wash

Yellow spot: I added the aloe gel to the fabric with a paintbrush and then mixed the Inktense directly into it
Orange spot: Mixed aloe gel with Inktense in mixing dish and then applied to fabric
Bigger purple spot: Added water to the fabric with a paintbrush and then mixed the Inktense directly into it
Smaller purple spot: Mixed water with Inktense in mixing dish and then applied to fabric

Now, to the wash we all go…

The results are NOT good!

He's a ghost of the bunny he was.

And the spot test?  I cut the strip in half, and only washed half

Not good!!

I am going to now try fabric medium which I have on hand from the wonderful lino printing class I took with Hey Crafty at the Consortium Winchester.
You can see my peacock here - GREAT fun!!!

That works a treat!  And the fabric still has a lovely soft handle, with not a smudge of that 'plastic' feel you get from Dylon Image Maker.  The right hand piece I washed HOT, with soap and seriously rubbed it.  Colour did not budge.  Oh happy days

So, after much trial and error, I have found the perfect way to use Inktense on fabric so that it is washable once that fabric is sewn up into clothing.
I colored directly on dry fabric with Inktense
I applied a thin layer of Textile Medium over the Inktense with a paintbrush, working the colour as I went to get rid of the lines that were visible where I had drawn on the Inktense.
You need to work on each colour separately or you will end up mixing colours.
I have gone over the ghostly bunny again, using this method.  Once he is dry, I will heat set him, scan him & then see how the wash test works out.  
Look out for this post.

Transferring a sketch to fabric

A great way to transfer your sketch to your fabric is to use tracing paper and wax crayons.
Sketch your image on tracing paper in pencil, adjusting it until you are happy.  Then turn it over & re-sketch on reverse of tracing paper in wax crayon.  Use light strokes.  Now you see why tracing paper is used!
Simply lay the tracing paper sketch on your fabric, wax crayon side down & iron without steam.

You can use this again and again, perfect if you want a line of rabbits!

Painting on Fabric

Test run on Linen : FW ink and various fabric marker pens.

I pre-washed the linen at 60°C to shrink it as much as possible pre painting and ultimately sewing up.
Then had at it with markers and FW ink, and heat set it quite seriously with iron on hottest setting.

Pre wash:

Post wash:

Pre wash:

Post wash:
This one I scrubbed rather vigorously just as a test. A washing machine would not be as cruel to the bunnies, but I really wanted to test their staying power.

Again, the sketches were 2 second sketches, so, please excuse!!

Things I have learned (so far) from my various tests:

1. Fabric must be bone dry before painting / drawing
2. Pre-wash without fabric softener 
3. Leave work to dry completely before heat setting
4. Wash on gentle cycle 30°C after painting / drawing
5.  Don't water down ink for fabric, less bleed and lasts better if undiluted

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Painting on Fabric

Sketching rabbits to test the some new toys I am trying out
He is FW ink (colours) outlined with Pilot Laundry-Tec pen.  Don't be fooled, the packaging of this pen is blue… it has black ink.
This is pre wash (above & below)
Yes, I know, he looks like a rabid rabbit!  The eyes need more work.  This was a two minute sketch, forgive me!

Post wash - 60°C (hotter than you'd really wash anything you value!!):
It should be noted here:  I painted first, then drew on wet fabric (not the best result for the laundry pen)
The FW held firm!!
I did hot-iron set it, with steam.

I tried three fabric markers.
Below is the Marabu Textile Painter

It has a thicker nib, and bleeds slightly when you go over lines (look at where the leaves join stem)
I wrote 'Textile Painter' on wet fabric - not advised, it bleeeeeeeeeeeds!
But, as you can see, it stays put through washing!  PERFECTLY!!!!
Colours are (again) FW, and they stayed put after heat sealing with steam-iron on HOT
FW on fabric does bleed without the aloe vera gel, but I kinda like it here

Next up: The Pilot Laundry marker.

Nice fine nib
NO bleed!!!!!  Even on wet fabric (see '(laundry marker)' in pic below)
Fades a bit in wash, even when not over FW
BUT, in fairness, it was 60°, and fade is minor when directly applied to fabric

This is my personal fav

Last up:  Pentel Marker for Textile

Fine point nib
Works well on wet / dry fabric
Very little bleed
Very little fade.

As I write this, I am trying to work out why I preferred the Pilot.  
I like it's roller ball nib
I like it's precision
You can go over lines with NO BLEED
Writes PERFECTLY directly on wet fabric, BUT, for staying power - write on dry!
I suppose, I just simply do

The colour wheel was drawn with Sharpie, which does bleed, and it runs into the FW when applied
But, it stays PUT through a wash

Below is Pilot Laundry Tec on dry fabric 
Perfect after 60°C wash
FW is direct (undiluted) from bottle

Monday, 18 August 2014

FW Artists' Acrylic Inks on fabric

Playing with the inks on fabric

Doodles drawn with FW Black ink using a dip pen a primary 
school friend bought for me many moons ago!

Random shapes left to dry then added Sharpie lines around

Above you can see the bleed when inks are mixed with water

But, when you mix them with Aloe Very gel, no bleed!

The fabric is still very soft, you cannot feel where the ink has been applied, yet it is wash safe.
The blue ink was added thickly, which is why you see the lines in it.  I was experimenting.

Sunday, 17 August 2014



Inktense over aloe vera gel with FW Daler Rowney Acrylic ink and Sharpie and then heat-set
No fabric medium

Washed in the machine at 40°C:

A tiny bit of the white FW ink on his mouth and eyes & towards his belly has washed out.  I wonder if this is because it was layered over Inktense.  But all in all, pretty good!

FW Ink on fabric

I have been having fun with Inktense & FW Acrylic Inks on fabric

This was the original sketch I did in Fuerteventura:

And here it is on fabric:

Just for fun, I overexposed the shot, and fell in love with the effect… 

I will have to wash it hot to get the actual fabric to look like this.

Now to figure out what to turn this into….

Monday, 11 August 2014

Ink and FME

Rabbits, rabbits everywhere!

I bought this fabric on Saturday and had the idea to team it with my latest obsession: fabric art, to create a skirt.  I made the pattern from an existing skirt that fits well.

The rabbit nearest the hem is purely free motion embroidered, the middle one combines free motion embroidery with Inktense, and the top rabbit is a Sharpie sketch. 

I must take that hem out & redo it with blind hemming stitch!

Unknown in August

I have begun a new adventure, well, two really.
The first (the photos above are a clue) combines two creative things I really adore; sewing and painting:  I am trying my hand at painting on fabric, which is rapidly becoming a passion and compulsion.

My Sister and I visited the The Festival of Quilts  which was so great that the   l  o  n  g   drive home in pouring rain is hardly in my mind as I write this post, and I HATE driving in pouring rain, at night, so you may now understand just how wonderful this festival was.  It is always inspirational to see wonderful works of art and all the different ideas different artists bring to their work, but then to also be able to see (and buy) all the latest supplies, watch demonstrations of how to use said supplies, as well as demonstrations of new and wonderful mixed media techniques, all under one roof… HEAVEN!!!!
I am not a quilter, although I have tried my hand (rather half heartedly) at quilting, but still this festival was beyond compare.

It was at this show that my crafting mind started seriously fixating on the very real possibility of watercolor-like painting on a fabric base, which I could then turn into bespoke pieces of clothing, or a handbag, hand towel, roman blind…. (you get the idea), without the fabric becoming stiff or plasticized in the process, while still being fine in the wash.

To this end, we bought some Paintstix from Markal which I am dying to try out, and have been learning online exactly how to use them so long.

But, it turns out I had the perfect medium for my desired outcome in my crafting room all along - INKTENSE pencils.  

Photo from Cheryl Gebhart's blog ScrappyCat
Have a look at her wonderful Flickr Pics, inspirational! 

I bought these when I was taking private art lessons in Berlin, and really enjoyed using them on paper, but had not realised that once water is added in application, this pigment becomes permanent!  So, INKTENSE is perfect for drawing on fabric!  The trick is to simply to wet the fabric before you begin drawing/ painting on it.

My Blue Tit  on linen (photo at start of post) will eventually become a handbag, and hopefully I will remember to photograph it when it does!

The second new adventure is joining the Creative Every Day Challenge, starting a bit late, but you know… better late than never and all.

Happy crafting one and all :)