Sunday, May 29, 2011

Experiments in Fabric Transfer Methods

I'd love to share the results of my experiments using four different products/techniques for transferring images to fabric. 

First of all, I use fabric transfers for mixed media projects that won't be washed.  Durability is important but they will not be used in a quilt or another work that will be washed.  I do use fabric transfers in books and wall art ...just to name a couple. 

My inkjet printer is an HP Photosmart 564XL.  This is a new printer for me.  I had a perfectly fine Lexmark that I loved but it no longer prints due to something being dropped into the printer.  The only way to fix it was to replace it so I'm still getting acquainted with the HP.   It seems like a good choice so far.  The printer settings were as follows:  General Everyday Printing - Plain Paper - Best Print Quality. 

The image I used to compare all methods was a vintage cook book cover available from Altered Pages on collage sheet #1006D.    All images used today are offered by Altered Pages.

 All transfers were printed or ironed onto a light to medium weight muslin.  Be sure and iron the muslin before beginning.  Wrinkles make it very difficult to get a good transfer and when using the homemade inkjet method, they will jam your printer.

The first transfer was made using Avery's T-Shirt Transfer Paper #3275.  This paper is for light colored fabrics and it transferred very well.   Directions for this method are easy and straightforward.  Simply print your digital images onto a sheet of transfer paper and iron the images onto your fabric.  Be sure and print the images as mirror images.  I'll definitely use this product for future transfers.
Avery #3275
 The next product I tried is called invent it! and is made by International Paper.  The transfers produced with invent it! were not very good.  I tried pulling the backing from the transfer paper while it was still warm and I also let it cool.  Neither method seemed to work better than the other.  On the other hand, if a grungy transfer is what you're after, this product would work just great.  I picked invent it! up at a large discount store and it was only $1.00 for ten sheets.  It's possible that the product was being sold in massive quantities because it didn't work well..  For what it's worth, I'll probably use these sheets for grungy transfers when the need arises.
Invent It! Iron-On Transfer Sheet #00063-2


TAP - Transfer Artist Paper
  My third effort went with TAP or transfer artist paper.  This was the Cadillac of all methods.  On my first attempt to get a transfer, I don't think I ironed one area as long as I should have and a bit of the image remained on the transfer paper.   All images after the first one transferred perfectly.  Here's another example of a TAP transfer:

The last method I tried today was making my own homemade ink-jet paper.  I've done this many times and part of the reason for today's experiments was to see how it measures up against other products.  

Homemade Ink-Jet Fabric
I used an 8.5 x 11 sheet of computer paper and sprayed it lightly with tacky spray.  I placed the computer paper onto a piece of ironed muslin and  smoothed to the edge and then cut around the paper.

Muslin ready to print on
I used the same printer settings with this method as I did for the transfer papers.  It is not necessary to print mirror images since you're printing directly onto the muslin.   After allowing the images to dry a few minutes, I spray them with a workable fixative. 

Another example of homemade inkjet paper

The homemade method prints directly onto the muslin and doesn't have the polymer coating that the transfer sheets use.  Because of this, the images using the homemade method are softer and lighter weight but on the other hand the TAP and Avery images are sturdier and heavier.   I have to say that I like the TAP and Avery products very much. I will continue to use the homemade method as well depending on the end result desired.  I'll reserve the invent it! product for those rough and grungy projects.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Seattle Tour

It's good to be home! I have to say that Seattle was wonderful. Clarissa is already talking about going back. Clarissa and I along with my friend Susan flew from Tennessee to Seattle last Wednesday. Susan had been to Seattle before and it was good to have a 'Seattle-savvy' person among us. Our first three days there were spent at the Paramount in downtown and we either walked or took the rail to get around the city. The last two days were spent on the road visiting Poulsbo and Leavenworth, WA. Here's a  picture tour of a few highlights:

Airplane project...fabric flowers

Cheap ride for weary feet

We stayed at the Paramount on Pine Street...good choice.

Had to snap this because of the design

Ballgame on day one...Clarissa's bucket list must-do

Smiling in the Seattle sunshine

Cheesecake Factory...twice

Hotel art

Coffee Art

Starbucks...another must see on Clarissa's list

Pike Place Market...Here we come!

The flowers were beautiful and inexpensive

Look at this samples for all

Entertainment at Starbucks

A purchase from Gail Coupal, Hot Flashes, A Glass Studio

The studio of Brooke  Wish she had been there so I could have watched her in action.

Pike Street Press...super nice...beautiful work

Great sounding guys...could they be the next Beatles?

Top Pot Donuts...long wait but worth it.

The Space Needle

A view from the Space Needle

A view down the tracks while we wait for the train

On the road to Poulsbo, WA

Tart tins purchased at Cat's Meow Antiques, Poulsbo...I could have stayed in this shop for hours.

Viking Festival in Poulsbo

A wonderful variety of shops lined Front Street in Poulsbo

Leavenworth, WA

A view in Leavenworth

Starbucks Coffee....Leavenworth style

Another gorgeous view of the mountains

Simply Found, Leavenworth...wonderful shop

Had to have it...Simply Found

Pretty flowers

Snoqualmie Falls, WA


Back to the city....

"The Center of the Universe"

We had to see the Fremont Troll...
Well, that's it in a nutshell.  We had amazing weather the entire time and I was so impressed with how friendly everyone was.  I'm with Clarissa...I'm already planning to go back.  Later...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thirty Days Of Posts - Day Thirty...well almost!

Bags are packed and reservations are made.  Tomorrow will be hectic so I'm finishing up my thirty days of posts tonight.  There was only one day missed due to Blogger being down and it was a fun exercise in trying to come up with something interesting to blog about everyday.   There were days that I honestly couldn't think of anything interesting enough to write about and it probably showed.  Nonetheless, it was a worthy challenge to get back to blogging regularily. 

I'm off to an all girl's trip to celebrate Clarissa's graduation.  See you next week....Later!

Thirty Days Of Posts - Day Twenty-Nine -Check Out This Giveaway

Teressa of Green Isles Crafts is giving away a Rustic Journal Workshop Scholarship to one lucky person.  Here's a photo from her blog:

Photo Courtesy of Green Isles Crafts
Check out the details and enter at:
There's also a sneak peek video to give you an idea of the project. 

Now I'm off to throw my name in the hat!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thirty Days Of Posts - Day Twenty-Eight

Just a quick photo tonight.  I worked on another canvas background this evening and it will be ready to go when inspiration hits.  The tiny, tiny dots are the pattern made when I blotted with a paper towel..I like them!  Later...