Fun with transfer printing 1 – preparing the papers

DH is away in India for 12 days so I’m using the time to do lots of printing and other fun stuff.  As well as keeping track of three teenage sons whose social lives are better than mine!   I have just made up some gum tragacanth, a thickener for using with natural dyes and a gelatin plate for monoprinting so I plan to do some monoprinting, and also some screenprinting in the next few days.  But first, some photos of what I was doing LAST week…

When I was sorting out the fabric for printing, I realised that I had a lot of synthetic (or partially synthetic) fabrics lying around that I couldn’t use for ordinary printing or dyeing.  So I thought I’d do some transfer printing with the disperse dyes that I bought at the Festival of Quilts.  I also have a box of fabric crayons so I did some rubbings with these then painted over them with dilute transfer paints.

Here are some of the objects I used for rubbing:

objects used for rubbing fabric crayons

That plastic grid thing has been very useful for stamping and rubbing.  It came with a kids’ game as part of the packaging, I think.      And the other grid was made by cutting squares of fun foam and glueing it to a piece of card.  The foam wasn’t so effective for rubbing as it wasn’t quite hard enough but it was okay.  And there’s the grill thing from one of those disposable barbecue kits, and a circle stencil.  Here are some of the papers I produced with them:

grid rubbing

This is made with the plastic grid.  I painted it with green transfer paint, quite well diluted.  As you can see, I didn’t worry about getting it very even as I think this adds to the interest.

grid rubbing with transfer crayons

Here is one with a red crayon.  I like the variation in the marks created – I made some of them by rubbing the crayon flat against the paper, and others by using the crayon point – this one has produced more lines than the one above.

rubbing with fabric crayons

This one is produced using the barbecue grill.

rubbing using fabric crayon over lego block

For this one I used one of the boys’ old Lego plates – one of the large ones for creating layouts and things.

rubbing with transfer crayon

This is the circles stencil which I overlapped and repeated randomly.

rubbing with lego

And other Lego rubbing.

rubbing over metal type

This one was made by rubbing over some metal type which I have.  I haven’t yet printed this on to fabric so I’ll be interested to see how it turns out.

As well as the rubbings, I did a few screenprints with a squeegee using a Gocco print.  They came out a bit blurry because the transfer paints were too thin but sometime I want to try mixing them with a thickener and printing them. 

prints using transfer paint and Gocco screen

prints using a squeegee and transfer paint

Next time I’ll post pictures of the fabric these produced.  I used ordinary inkjet paper, by the way, apart from the one above where I used some blank newsprint paper.

6 Replies to “Fun with transfer printing 1 – preparing the papers”

  1. Oooo I totally dig the circle stencil! How are things in your neck of the woods? I’m stuck inside the past few days with snow storms!

  2. You are having fun Liz. I haven’t been around for ages, but came back just in time your transfer printing. I just love transfer painting and rubbing.

  3. I absolutely love transfer paints. They have so much potential.
    You must read Captain Corelli. Its great, but there is a bit that shard going just after the start. Persevere.

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