Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Creative Space... printing felt

I've been a real grasshopper this week, hopping from one thing to the next. Firstly, I have still been working on my collage (collective groan!) but in my defence I will say that stitching text on paper is a very time-consuming endeavour. I don't think anything has taken me so long since I hand-sewed all the sequins on this top. Anyway, I was then totally sidetracked by the Coco Chanel movie and started hunting through my fabric stash looking for jersey to sew into a top. Before that actually happened, though, I made this brooch. Finally, the biggest distraction of all... I discovered via Poppytalk that the amazing Lucie Summers, of Etsy Summersville fame, had started screen printing on felt! Wow! I was totally blown away - why had I never thought of this before? What an incredible thing to do! So, I set to work experimenting...


I didn't have a stencil suitable in size for my little felt pieces so I decided to experiment with wood blocks and lino cuts. (The lino cuts really didn't work!) The wood blocks were perfect for the felt, maybe because it already has a nice bit of 'give' in it.


Something that took me by surprise was the differences in quality of my humble felt squares. See in the pic below how the blue felt on the right isn't as tight a weave (or something!) because the block print is so fuzzy?



There is generally a lot more fuzziness to the texture and I had to tweezer off some errant strands but overall I was pretty happy... and then... I tried to heat seal the fabric dye... what a disaster!!! The dye turned a strange yellowy colour and the felt went a bit funny too, so I only sealed a couple of them. Anyway, I didn't want to throw it away so I started stitching around the pattern and I think it's turned out okay. Could be another brooch in the making?


If anyone else has been experimenting with printing felt I'd love to hear how you got on with it! It's the heat sealing that seems to be the problem for me - all suggestions gratefully received!

I think Kirsty is away on holidays and there's no central point for finding all the Creative Spaces today, but just in case she takes pity on us and does a special posting, you can find her site here.

14 comments:

Thea said...

I have printed on felt before and knitted wool & tweed before with success. What ink are you using? You shouldn't have trouble heat-setting.

Kylie said...

Hi Thea - just a regular fabric ink (supercover white). I've experimented with a few more now and I think the iron was too hot for the felt. It's not really good quality felt either I think! K

Sherrin said...

Wow! It looks amazing! I've never thought of printing on felt wither. Something *else* to try!

edward and lilly said...

Ohhhhhhhhh, I am speechless, printing on felt = brilliant. Would love to see more experimenting!

gretchenmist said...

these are gorgeous! that top is so amazing and i like both brooches {inc the one here in progress}.
the print looks great with the stitching around it :)

Katy said...

Love it! you have inspired me again!

handmaiden said...

Wow kylie, i was impressed with the printing on felt, but the embroidery is sublime. I just love the charcoal colour of the felt. bought myself a sweater today the same colour and i am wearing it with jewel colours - royal blue and plummy/grape.....maybe some good floss colurs for u.

Kylie said...

Fab idea Sharon! A field of colourfully-stitched grey felt bits! I'll try those colours and show you. Thanks for this. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments - you make me feel a lot less of a doofus for burning the first felt bit! ;) K

Tania said...

Kylie - these are FAB. Is 11.58pm too late to come over all inspired and go and play? And your stitchery is beautiful.

Doug said...

Kylie these are lovely- I have some bird drawings I've been wanting to print for the longest time and you are inspiring me now!But mine will be on paper- your embroidery is beautiful- I also confess I got a book on crochet from the library and will try some as a summer thing for Lucy and myself- See, you are such an inspiration-everyone says!

amy said...

thanks for following me :) i just had a look at your blog, i love it! the felt printing it awesome, so creative. you've inspired me to make friends with felt :)

little grubs said...

Your little experiment has worked just beautifully. I reckon there could be some more brooches in the offing! x

MissyP said...

Hey, me again. You win. Check out my blog. My turn to tag you. I've fixed the rules so you can play - or not. Good to have options don't you think ;)

MP

ArtMind said...

This is great & the stitching is super! There is also a kind of puff fabric paint that you can use to trace or fill the pattern. Might be fun to try? :) (Fun liners by Marabu)