Monday, July 29, 2013

Hand-Printed Fabric

I've been trying to figure out a way to jazz up the basic totes I make, and came across this post by Dana at danamadeit.com. She simply painted fabric with acrylic paint, without even using a textile medium. According to various other sources I found via google, latex paint works as well as acrylic when mixed with textile medium, but I don't have any textile medium, don't feel like making the trip to the craft store, and don't really have any room in the budget to buy any anyway. I figure since the textile medium is mostly for making the paint more flexible and comfortable on clothing, it wouldn't be too terrible to leave it out for a tote bag.

Thus, I pulled out a quart of "electric orange" latex paint. It's been sitting in the cupboard for... oh... 12 or 13 years now. I got it originally to sponge over the red walls in my bedroom. I was a weird kid.



I cut out the fabric, a 100% cotton recycled bedsheet, and laid it out on some newspapers. I used the toilet paper roll to stamp the fabric, and the old container lids to hold the paint. (Side note: am I the only one who saves sour cream and yogurt containers, but somehow ends up with twice as many lids as containers?)


See those little speckles around the circles? That's because I just dipped the TP roll in the big lid full of paint and stamped away. Thus, every time I lifted the roll little droplets of paint would pop off. So I started dipping the roll in the paint, then tapping it on the empty lid before stamping a couple times. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I like how I got impatient and rushed and the circles on the left are getting thicker and messier. There's even a couple super thick blobs:

Which actually thinned out quite a bit when they dried, but are still pretty blobby. Eh, well. I still need to see how it holds up to washing/drying/using/washing/etc. And if it works, I'll be more careful to keep things even if I do it again. I kind of like the way it's not all nice an even though. 

I'm also noticing that I really need to work on my photography. Proper lighting is really hard in my house; we have lots of trees, and not huge windows, so natural light is in very short supply, even in the summer.

After drying I went to iron the paint and found a little happy face.
Children have been here.
Ah, well, such is life. I actually kind of wish it had been a circle closer to the center, this one is probably going to get mostly lost in the hemming and sewing of the tote. And it'll be upside-down...

Anyway, iron on highish heat, use an ironing cloth or a bit of scrap between the iron and the paint. I used a bit of newspaper, and where the paint is thicker the newsprint stuck in the paint like silly putty. I'll see if it washes off, but if it doesn't, again, no big deal.

And that's how you use latex paint on fabric. I'll do another post with the finished tote bag later, too.

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