I have been experimenting with printing on fabric using my inkjet printer. I am extrememly chuffed that I managed to get hold of a 3-in-1 printer on Freecycle the other day. It is the simple kind that feeds the sheet in flat so there is less chance of anything getting mangled inside the thing. It works perfectly and I am just waiting for some new ink cartridges from Amazon to get really busy making gifts for Christmas. It is also going to be very useful to have a scanner available. Our old printer does not connect to the new laptop I bought this autumn and I have been having to mess about in my daughter’s room on the ancient, slow PC, annoying her whilst I try and scan and print useful stuff.
The method I was recommended was to use freezer paper which they sell by the metre in Country Threads in Bath for patchwork designs. Freezer paper is the kind of packaging for food which is plasticized on one side. This means that you can cut it to size and iron a layer of fabric to the paper so that when you feed it through the printer it stabilizes the fabric. My first experiment mostly worked but one corner got a bit messy so I shall have to remember to move the images away from the edges on my original document and that should avoid problems next time. The images are good and bright, which surprised me. I somehow thought that they may look more faded. So if I want something to look a bit more aged I will have to either alter the original image digitally or pre-treat the fabric to a tea bath.
Hailstones are rattling down outside my workroom window. It is dark and dank out there today and the weather is set to get colder finally. We are very glad of our Aga stove which keeps the house cosy during the day when the central heating is off and is invaluable for drying my dying and painting samples quickly.
I dyed a batch of fabric and sheeting in the washing machine over the weekend using Dylon for the machine. The original colour looked good and strong on the side of the box so I was a little disappointed that the resulting colour was quite wishy-washy. I won’t let this put me off and will have another go later in the week. I know that machine dying is never going to be quite as effective as other dyeing methods but it is good to try this out, and it is much easier to dye large amounts this way.