Textile Printing Course

As promised, a catch up on what I got up to last week at Leeds College of Art.

You’ll note that I’m not sufficiently caught up to have made use of an iron!!

I’d signed up for the textile printing course before we started screen printing fabric for bags, so one of the things I benefited from was the chance to see and try lots of different ways of getting colour onto fabric.

We were lucky enough to have an amazing tutor, Kirstie Williams. Kirstie is one of these wonderful teachers who is willing to share so much knowledge with you. I learnt a huge amount that I’m sure wasn’t meant to be part of the course due to her generosity.

Onto some colour.

The first technique we used was painting onto newsprint paper with disperse dyed then heat pressing the paper onto fabric to transfer the design.

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This technique works best on man made fabrics as the colours are brighter, but it could also be used to make backgrounds to print or sew over.

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The next technique we covered had us painting onto silk screens with procion dyes. Once these were dry we used a seaweed past to transfer the design onto fabric. You only get a couple of prints using this method, and the second is a lot lighter. It’s a brilliant way of getting lots of different colours onto fabric.

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There’s a real difference between the first and second prints.

Day two saw us using screens to print, and cutting paper templates. This is a fairly quick way of working so it’s possible to build up layers of pattern and colour in quite a limited time.

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I loved doing this, and I can see lots of possibilities for making prints in this way.

The afternoon of day two was taking up with preparing images to expose onto screens and getting screens ready for this. This was a bit more familiar to me, and it was a great chance to improve the way I do things.

There are lots of ways of preparing images for a screen, including printing onto acetate. We took a low tech approach with black pens (sharpie markers work well)and tracing paper. By the time we went home on Tuesday evening I thought I’d be printing fabric with a design of circles and lines.

One of the things I wanted to try during the course was printing a length of fabric rather than small individual panels. So on Tuesday evening when Bobbie decided that she’s like a shirt made from fabric with dachshunds on it there was a change of plan.

I seemed to spend a lot of time on Wednesday working out where screens needed to go so that each print would flow into the next. It’s one of these things that seems very odd, then your brain catches what you want it to work out and it all makes sense.

So we now have 4 meters of this.

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Before we went home on Wednesday we started thinking about what we wanted to do on the last day. I was keen to print a knitting design in several colours. While I was doodling ideas for this Kirstie walked past and suggested that instead of a drawing I could expose a bit of knitting to create my screen. So Wednesday evening was spent knitting very loose garter stitch on large needles to give me an open textured fabric.

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I love how this turned out, and it’s something I’m already making plans to do more of. So much so that some of my holiday knitting is going to be panels to make screen prints from.

So all in all a wonderful four days. I’ve come home with so many things that I want to do and make – so if anyone has a few spare hours kicking about send them my way!

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One Response to Textile Printing Course

  1. Rachel says:

    LOVE the knitted fabric print!

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