Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In the Lab--Transfer Experiments

Last week’s 6x6” weekly square, which I posted yesterday, depressed me so much I had to seek out some beauty. My son had brought my lovely partner (he calls her “other mother”) and me roses for Mother’s Day, but they were fading fast. Because it was an overcast day, I took them outside and laid them against the picnic table and took a few pictures.

roses_on_wood copy

I really love the way the pictures turned out, so I decided to use one of them for this week’s 6x6” square. My first idea was to print the pic onto fabric; I had ONE piece of fabric all cut to size and ironed to freezer paper, so I carefully taped the leading edge and fed it into the printer. It jammed, of course.

I didn’t want to prepare more fabric for the printer, so I scrounged around and found June Tailor “Print ‘n Press Iron-On Transfer Paper.” I printed the pic onto my last sheet of that, then followed the directions to transfer it to cotton fabric.


Hmm; nice, if a little weathered looking. I remembered that I had ordered some TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) from Lesley Riley a while back, so I dug that out. I printed another copy of the image onto it (note: I used the HP printer this time rather than the Epson, so that probably accounts for some of the color difference). Then I transferred the image to cotton, following the TAP instructions:


The directions say to use an iron without steam holes, if possible; I used my regular iron and tried to move it around enough to cover the holes. I think, though, that the steam holes caused the incomplete transfer on the left side.

Ok, I thought, you’re supposed to be able to color TAP and then transfer it to fabric. I grabbed my Micron pens, crayons, and Prismacolor pencils, and drew on the TAP. It was a little hard to use the Micron pens on it, because they tended to catch the polymer and scrape it off, which gunked up the pen tip. The crayons were easier, but it was difficult to get a lot of color onto the TAP with them. The pencils worked the best. Then I ironed this TAP piece to cotton:


Everything transferred really well, including the Micron pen. Then, I wondered whether I could color on top of the already-transferred images. Using the Prismacolor pencils, I added color here and there, then re-ironed the piece:


I also added a little pencil to the rose prints in the areas that hadn’t transferred well.

Both the Print ‘n Press and TAP fabrics had a very stiff hand after the transfers; in addition, the Print ‘n Press was sticky, so I was anxious to see how they would feel after washing (and to see whether the added pencil would wash out). Each of them claim to soften with washing. I gave all three pieces a quick hand-wash with detergent, then dried them in the dryer on high heat. The Print ‘n Press lost much of its stickiness, but both transfer fabrics still had a very stiff hand. Neither felt plastic-like though, which I really like. The TAP polymers did seem more integrated with the fabric, which is one of its claims.

Surprisingly, the added pencil didn’t wash out on any of the fabrics. However, when I gave the TAP a final ironing after washing and drying it, I noticed the blue pencil had smeared or bled a little.

I like the way both of the transfers turned out, for different reasons. I love the aged/weathered look of the Print ‘n Press transfer. Otoh, I don’t want this look all the time, so the TAP is an excellent option for cleaner, crisper images.

Now, on to make my weekly 6x6” square, which I’ll post later today or tomorrow.

1 comment:

Terri said...

Great experiment! I have been wondering how TAP compares to some of the others.