There is something immensely satisfying about creating a product that you can use in your own home. When I couldn’t find cushions that I really liked, I decided to make my own.
Inspiration came from a number of old wooden printing blocks I bought whilst on holiday in India. I began by printing the blocks onto paper using water based printing inks. Unfortunately, they had clearly been knocked around which spoilt the outcomes.
I sketched out a few ideas based on the prints and transferred them to some off cuts of my printing material. There are a number of brands available, but I prefer Essdee Mastercut as it’s easy to cut, creates a nice sharp image when printed and is inexpensive. I carefully cut to the outline using lino cutters and then cut away the negative space or background.
I then tested my stamps by printing onto paper with some ink pads and water based inks to check that I was happy with the design. A little bit of re cutting removed small sections which spoilt the design.
I then prepared myself for printing onto fabric. I cut small sample pieces from a few pieces of heavy weight cotton and linens and experimented with my chosen coloured inks. "Speedball" have an excellent range of screen printing inks, which adhere well to the surface and can be ironed to make them colour fast. Some colour combinations were more successful, but the samples wouldn’t go to waste as I knew I could make Lavender bags with them.
It can feel a bit intimidating having a large piece of fabric to work on, so I prefer to cut pieces to size. It can also help to print on paper first to experiment with layout and find the right pressure and quantities of ink to use. Have baby wipes to hand and try and keep everything really clean to avoid blobs of ink where you don’t want them.
Fabric needs to be left to dry and then ironed following the manufactures instructions.
A few hours of work, has enabled me to make products that I really like and an appreciation of how beautiful my Indian printing blocks are.
You can see some pictures of this on our blog and learn how to do this at Art in The Barn on Friday 21st June on the Create Printed Fabric Products Workshop.
Blooming Designs, owned and run by Alison Butler is a diversified art business, specialising in illustrating books, textile design and running art courses.
Whitewool Farm, East Meon, Petersfield, Hampshire