July 2009

Had a wonderful day on a couple of weeks ago, doing a print taster day at Bradford.  I’d only dabbled in lino cut, and etching before.  This was a fast paced tour of Monoprints, Pigment ink printing, Devore, discharge printing, and foil printing.  I learnt so much and it was great having all the great facilities when all the other students are on their holidays.

There were 10 of us doing it – mainly from our year of the HNC.  We’d asked whether it would be possible to run this day for us especially, it wasn’t anything to do with our Weave/knit course.  However, now I know more, I would love to incorporate print into my textile design.  It’s really exciting – a whole new world.

We started with Monoprints – using Procion Dyes to draw on the screens.  Faced with having to do some spontaneous art, I kept it simple. 

Mono Print using procion dyes Mono Print using procion dyes


I also did a second pass of the squeegee with the binder on and got a softer faded image.

Then we used the images we had brought to put onto screens.   This gave screens that could be reused time and time again with different techniques.  Light sensitive paint was scraped over a screen and then the image put over the screen when it was hardened under UV light.  The non-hardened paint could be washed off, leaving a reverse image of my photo.

  Pigment Ink paints were then squeegeed through the screen.  They only reached the fabric below the screen if the screen design allowed it. 

Pigment ink paint print
Pigment ink paint print

This one was done in 2 stages.  First I screen printed a blank screen with a mixture of yellow and blue for the background.  Then it dried and I superimposed my image using black ink.I was quite happy with this one.



Devore paste printing worked quite well one a white background – in this case a viscose silk.  The Aluminium sulphate eats away at the viscose but not the silk.   
 This has interesting implication for design of warps and wefts by weavers who then want to use devore.  We, as weavers. have a lot more scope for interesting effects.  Have a look at http://www.hollybrackmann.com/surface-design/weaver-devore-2003.html.  Holly has explored this technique and explains how to do it. 
Discharge printing (bleaching out) also worked well for my image.  But foil printing (glueing down foil with a hot iron.  The glue having been applied through the screen to get the glue in the correct places for the image).
Foil printing
Foil printing

I loved the way the foil reflected the light as the water on the beach would have done.

By the way, the photo was taken by my brother and shows his wife and dog.
I just touched on printing – brilliant day exploring lots of techniques.  I think there is a real skill in knowing which technique suits which image, whether to reverse the image colours (black where white is, etc), what colour background to use.   Using black background didn’t always work for my image as the original photo was silhouettes on a light reflecting background. 
I’m looking forward to learning more and experimenting. 
 I realise my explanations were a bit rushed.  But hey, we have books for all that stuff!
jane (maybe get round to some weaving this side of Christmas)

Having horrified even myself at the brightness of the last warp colours, I picked brown, brown and more brown for the next warp.

2 shades of linen/cotton for one warp and acrylic boucle for the other warp.  (in hindsight, doing both sides in the same colour misses a bit of an opportunity with doubleweave).  However, as I usually do ‘in your face’ colours, I am determined to be a bit more subtle this time, IF IT KILLS ME.

I found a M & O threading in the Margarite Davidson book that looked quite pineconey.weaving

I reduced the number of ends in the sequence so I would get more repeats.


I tried using an orange yarn to get the waves on the right but there was not much distortion.  The block pattern on the left was good for giving a pine cones scales impression.  I liked this sample where I increased the amount of silver yarn in each block.  I used felting yarn plied several times – I thought this would make the fabric more stable.  I added a bit of padding under some of the ‘scales’ to make it more 3D.  When washed, it all pulled together a bit and the padding (welsh black fleece tops) is safely concealed


Everyone who had seen this one says ‘ooooh  so tactile’ – so a reckon this one is OK.   

I also wanted to experiment with pleats – basically, you use 2 beams for this.  Once you have woven about an inch (or more) of the top layer, loosen off the top layer end beam.  Pin the loosened cloth to the bottom cloth with sewing pins, across the warp.  Very gently tighten up the warp on the top beam, weave a few picks of tie down (tying down the top and bottom layers), tighten the warp again, weave a few more tie down picks and continue.   On a previous college sample, I liked how using lycra on a pleat made it crunch up.  Using cotton/linen and lycra gives a dry Pinecone crunchiness.


I particularly liked the areas next to the pleats/pockets which rippled up. 





My favourite sample is my next one – pleats again – subtle (yes, I’m getting the hang of this) colour gradation over the pleat.  I used the lifting plan that gave me blocks like sample 1.  This meant that when I came to pin down the pleats, there were sections of the bottom cloth that weren’t as stable (the blocks with the longer floats in).  I could only pin down the pleat intermittently across the warp.  I added a bit of slip, when I was doing the tye down, so that there were quite long warp floats on the back of the cloth.  These oval gaps showed the front colours through – fab effect.  I might use this later on.

dwsample5 (2)


Front side pleats








Reverse showing the oval reveal sections – love it!!  




Happy accidents – where would weaving be without them. 

Off to Bradford this coming week to present all this stuff.  I have to catch up with the paperwork (now ….. what was it I did???.  shh.  Don’t tell my tutor.)

Hope everyone’s weaving’s going well.  Jane