Friday, 18 November 2011

Image Transfer & Wax Experiments/Making of the Housewife Apron


Have been working with image transfer which is always a bit of a challenge.  The holy grail being the perfect way to transfer an image onto fabric without too much faffing about.  There are lots of techniques but by far the best one that worked for me in the end was direct transfer of an image onto calico fed through an ink jet printer.  Took a lot of courage to press the START button as the last time I had tried this last year I nearly broke the printer which happened to be new.  Husband was none the wiser but had to do battle with the printer to try and get the dam piece of calico out of the machine.  Didn't seem to want to let it go but eventually won and printer escaped unharmed.

This time round I had done my homework and researched the exact process which I found in a Stitch magazine.  The trick is to use 505 temporary adhesive to glue an A4 sized piece of calico onto A4 printer paper.  Place the calico about 1cm below the top edge of the paper and then fold down over the fabric. Place the glued paper and fabric into the feeder tray of the printer, insert your image on scanner bed and then press start.  I was really pleased with the result.  Just a bit was missed off the top left hand corner but I can maybe draw that in.  My intention is to sew this onto my apron.

Had a go at the water spray method too which was a bit of a disaster and I've ended up getting printer ink all over my Cath Kidston ironing board cover. Sod!  The technique is that you spray the piece of fabric with water, then place your printed ink jet image face down and iron over the top remembering to protect your iron with baking parchment to protect the sole plate.  This I duly did but forgot about underneath the fabric and this unfortunately bled onto the iron board.   If using text you have to reverse your image so that it printe the correct way round.

My ruined Cath Kidston ironing board cover

This technique is OK if you want a watery image but no good if you want sharp results.  Not to be repeated this time round.

Also experimenting with waxing paper using melted candles.  I rubbed a candle over the hot plate of the iron.  NB this wasn't my best Bosch iron.  I had bought a bog standard cheapie from Sainsbo's.  Just the trick for this and I had set up the workbench in the garage as it gets a bit messy to say the least.


Here I had melted the wax over empty tea bags filled with cut out pieces from vintage Woman's Weeklys.



For the apron I have used a vintage antimacassar and tray cloth sewn together to form the basic shape of an apron.  With a water soluble marker I traced the Housewife image in the style of the old 'Omo' washing powder - the iconic blue and red star burst. I decided to quilt the bib and then use vermicelli stitch to make the lettering and the star burst stand out. Vermicelli stitch is one long meandering line of stitch and the secret is never to touch or cross over the stitching.  Effective but time consuming and tedious to do. 


 I embroidered a picture of my newly cleaned bathroom onto the antimacassar which is the skirt of the apron. I used stitch and tear to stabilise the linen so it could be embroidered.  I decided to incorporate the original embroidery into the image so I just kind of ignored them when I was stitching.

What the hell happened here?  I used water soluble marker at first to draw the image then changed my mind and drew the picture on 'stitch and tear'. In the meantime I had to get rid of the marker by sponging off with water which I did but there was still a bit left which kind of goes into water marks.  I was such a dope here; why didn't I get rid of it all before I stitched the image onto the stitch and tear because what happened then was the water picked up the drawn image on the stitch and tear and above is the result.  What a sodding mess.  This didn't come off and what made matters worse it turned sort of yellow which  looked absolutely bloody brilliant on the white linen.  I ended up having to paint over the inky mess with white acrylic.  There is no accounting for this kind of eventuality.   You think something is going to be quite simple and then you encounter problems like this.  As much as I find using the soluble marker really simple when it comes to getting rid of it with water it can be quite erratic.  Think a lot of it is down to the fabric you use but its widely used by textile artists in quilt making so they obviously don't find it a problem.  

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