'Transforming Transfer' at Fantasia Textiles Studio 8 - 10 April - Part the first.

Fabric printed using torn painted transfer papers and torn resists.

I had a great three days in rural Essex this week. Transfer printing is rarely the top of anyones list for a workshop, which is a great shame. It is such a simple and exciting form of printing. 'Transforming Transfer' is one of my favourite workshops to teach - we always get fabulous results.

Disperse dye is the dye used to permanently colour synthetic fabrics. Because the dye is first applied to paper then transferred by heat to the fabric, they have become known as transfer paints.
The dyes I use are in powder form and I make them up and store them in glass jars - always wear a particle mask when working with dye powders.
Once the dyes are no longer in powder form you won't need to wear a mask.

When working with any dye it is best to wear gloves and an apron.

The group painting their papers.

Fantasia Textiles Studio is run by Norah Stocker, a great bundle of energy. The studio is a City and Guilds hub and Norah teaches various levels of City and Guilds courses ad well as mentoring and teaching exhibiting textile groups.

There were eight in the group and as soon as I met them I knew we were in for a great three days. We got straight onto painting up the papers with the transfer paints as they needed to dry for us to transfer them onto the fabrics.

The students painted up ten sheets of paper each.

It is important not to introduce water to the dyes as this will water them down and make them less vibrant. I always ask the students to clean their brushes on kitchen towel - this can then be transfer printed along with the painted papers.

The group were asked to paint two of their papers with one dark colour that we would use for resist printing. When working with resists the mask/resist shows more clearly when you use a plain colour.

Grass used as a resist for a negative print and then turned over and printed for a positive print.

A fabulous table of early experiments.

Resist and positive prints using a torn doily.

Another negative grass print.

All manner of things can be used as a resist for a negative print - as long as they are flat and dry. Feathers and loose threads were used here.

The very lovely Noreen loving the heat press.

Whilst transfer printing with an iron is easily done, it can take a few minutes. If you get into the rhythm of the process you don't notice this too much. However, when working in a group I take along my heat press. It speeds things up. It is a very heavy piece of equipment, I don't take it out of the house very often.



More gorgeous resist prints.

When working with transfer painted papers you can usually get a least prints from each piece of paper which can give a beautiful shadow effect.

 Lovely over prints.

We printed on various synthetic fabrics, Lutradur/Vilene Spunbond gives a great effect.

Once the group had printed up several fabrics, we had a play with applique using Bondaweb and using a soldering iron to cut the shapes. The fabric is ironed onto Bondaweb, leaving the backing paper on. Shapes are then cut out using a soldering iron and lifted off the backing paper. You need very little pressure when using a soldering iron to cut shapes. You just rest your soldering iron tip onto the fabric and move it as the fabric melts and cuts. If you cut through the backing paper you are pressing too hard.

The group working with the soldering irons.

Using a baking tray and baking parchment to work onto. Once cut, the shapes are lifted off the backing paper and laid onto your chosen background






Once enough shapes have been cut - they can be arranged on the chosen background fabric and ironed into place (using baking parchment on the top and underneath your work). As the cut shapes are backed with Bondaweb, they can be overlapped to give a very pleasing effect.

As I have sooooo many images from the workshop I will split this post into two and show you the more considered and stitched samples in part two. The group created some very beautiful work - I don't want to leave anything out.

Watch this space!

x x x


  1. Me encantan las imágenes de tu blog, son fantásticas :)


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