September 1, 2008

Embossed fabric

A couple of weeks ago we had a Funky & Delightful outing to a Paper Source workshop. Tory and I attended the inaugural Girls' Night Out workshop last summer and loved, loved, loved it. I mean, really, who wouldn't enjoy a night of crafting plus cocktails? When we heard that at this year's event one of the crafts would be a fabric printing technique, we were sold and even managed to convince our friend Val to come along.
embossed tote
We were given an organic cotton tote bag, a selection of stamps, inks and embossing powders and let loose. The technique itself is pretty simple: stamp your design on the fabric and then immediately cover with embossing powder (the ink must be wet). Brush off the excess and use a heat tool to melt the powder. Trial and error (and watching other people) taught us that large stamps and more contrast between the fabric and ink colors is the most effective. I also found I had to put lots of ink on the stamp and press hard onto the fabric to transfer enough color. You can see my first stamp on the bottom left and how much lighter it is than my subsequent prints.
embossed fabric detail
The only thing I wasn't crazy about was that the totes we were using were a little rough, giving the stamped designs a slightly smudged look. I think using a higher thread count fabric like a cotton sateen might alleviate this and also potentially provide more contrast. But the potential for personalized fabric designs is there, and using paper stamping supplies I already own. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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