As many of you know, I’m currently enrolled at the DIS school in Copenhagen for six weeks learning about textile design. I spent last week blogging about all the amazing designers and artist we’ve come across. Now I’ll show you some of what I’ve been working on. Since we returned from our study tour two weeks ago, we’ve been in the studio everyday printing and creating textile samples.
First we started with the heat transfer method. With this type of printing, you mix dye to create colors, then paint them onto pieces of paper. Once this is dried, you can cut out shapes, layer, and overprint these pieces of dyed paper to create patterns. Once you’ve created your design, you place the dyed paper onto the fabric’s surface, then apply heat. We used a heat press machine, but I assume this could be done by ironing at home. The nice thing about this meathod – you see immediate results, and there isn’t a lengthy wash process, like with screen printing. The bad part, when using synthetic fabric, this particular dye comes out totally different than it looks in dye form or even on the dry paper. The colors change so much when applied to heat. After much trail and error, I came up with these two designs inspired by wood patterns I kept seeing during our trip.
My first attempt at layering with heat transfer to create something tree-looking.
My finished design, using four layers. From background green to black on top, hiding registration marks.
After a few days of this method, we moved to screen printing with fabric and dyes. I’ve had experience with ink and paper screen printing so the process came quickly to me. BUT – fabric takes SOOO much longer to dry, so I quickly became frustrated by how much longer screen printing fabric takes. If you don’t wait for your layers or dry, you’ll ruin your print and the colors will mix or run. The first few days we used cut outs and open screens to create designs. This is a great way to screen print at home. It’s very similar to the method of using contact paper to create a stencil. The last few days we burned a screen to create a stencil with photo emulation. This allows for more intricate designs with finer detail. While I love screen printing, each design has to be steamed, then washed in cold and hot water (4 or 5 washes sometimes), then boiled, washed one more time, then dried. By this point your colors have likely changed and faded. One of my plaid designs I was so excited about pre-wash faded into light neon pastels post-wash. But it’s all part of the process I guess.
Above: First stripe design created using paper cutouts.
Above: My final stripe design.
Above: My paid before washing (and fading).
This design was created using cutouts, which I later turned into a series studying overlapping.
Below: After this series, I moved to photo stencils, and I created the following designs:
I wanted to create a series of 3 textiles with the same colors and different variations on the same theme.
Above may be my final pattern turned into a digital print .. but I’m coming up with some new ideas this weekend.
In this design I played with just my stencils and no solid circles of color.
The colors aren’t quite right but interesting to see.