Sunday, 2 December 2012

Textile Christmas Cards with Transfer Dyes

I just couldn't make the snow landscape idea for Christmas cards work satisfactorily. The design was disappointing and each card was taking too long to make. I have to get going on a rapid production line or it takes me months to make my cards.

Four of the cards in their mounts
and with a greeting
I've reverted to Plan B - always a good idea to have one of those....

Plan B is a design of random coloured bauble shapes in bright colours. The shapes were heat set onto polyester lining fabric in a fairly haphazard fashion using transfer dyes.

I cut out suitable shapes, both positive and negative from computer paper, and used them to mask areas as I coloured  the fabric, overlaying the colours and shapes.

Transfer dyes and masking shapes
on polyester lining fabric
I used powdered transfer dyes from Art Van Go which I mixed up ready in the little bottles shown and then painted pretty well neat onto A4 computer paper. The colours mix themselves as they are applied to the fabric so I didn't mix before painting.

To heat set the design onto the lining fabric I used an old domestic travel iron which gave the varied intensity of colour I wanted for these cards. With practice, you can judge how long to heat the fabric to get the effect you want. It's very important to use an old iron, not your prize new steam iron, as the sole plate can become stained by the transfer dyes.

The resulting cards are colourful, each one is unique and I'm quite pleased with them.

Now I just have to mount them into the card stock, add a greeting and my labels and the job will be done.

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