Hello everyone. Welcome to my little part of Kari's BIG party! So pleased to be a part of it and so appreciative of Kari, the one and only Artsy Mama, who has been an enormous force in bring this artistic community of bloggers together. I know many of you join with me in thanking Kari for her consistent and tireless support and generosity of spirit. She is a true blessing to this community.
I've decided, for those of you who might be interested, to show a simple water transfer. Honestly, it really is simple. I think what I like most about this technique is it will not change the hand of your fabric. In other words, your fabric will retain the exact same feel it had before you added the transfer. First of all, if you do not have a printer with lightfast inks, it's a good idea to spray the transfer with a matte sealer or fixative. I don't have lightfast inks and I've had no problems with fading. I spray the transfer with a fixative which is not at all detectable once it dries.
Here is the process: I have an Epson Stylus Photo printer. I do these transfers by running Dell glossy photo paper through my epson printer. You will need to do some experimenting to see what works best with your printer. The key is to use a cheap glossy photo paper. If you have an Epson printer DO NOT use Epson photo paper as the quality is way too high and the ink will not transfer off of it! Lesley Riley recommends Jet Print Photo Paper available at Walmart. With my printer, Dell paper does less skewing of the color. I also use black and white or sepia photos for this technique. You can use color photos, but you will probably need to go back into your photo editing software and make color adjustments after you've done the first transfer and continue to make them until you get the color right. I don't have the patience for it so I start with black and white or sepia.
1. Find your photo and print out the mirror image of it.
Don't expect this photo to look good and the ink will sort of lay on top of it. You'll need to let it dry for a while. Maybe 30 minutes. Spray your fabric with several mists of water. Run your hand over the fabric to sort of spread the water. It should feel slightly damp when you rub it. A nice, smooth cotton fabric like muslin works nicely with this technique. Hold up your photo and give it about 4 good, even mists. Make sure your water bottle doesn't leave spots of water. You want the water to be even and misty. Put the photo straight down on the misted fabric. Be very careful not to move the photo once it's down. Use a brayer or your hand to gently cause the photo to stick to the fabric.
2. Flip the fabric over so you are looking at the transfer from the other side.
Begin to mist and pat the fabric. Mist and pat until the entire image shows through clearly. This will not be a crisp transfer. It's a soft edge transfer and doesn't work at all well for detailed images. You will be able to tell when all the ink is transfered to the fabric. It should still be only damp to the touch. Use as little water as possible to complete the transfer. Use your hand to mash and pat the fabric into soaking up the mist. The next photo shows the transfer when this process is complete.
3. Once your photo is completely showing through the fabric, carefully pull the photo off of the fabric to reveal the completed transfer.
Let it dry and heat set it with an iron. You can also dry it with the iron. At this point, you might want to give it a spray of fixative. Now, cut it out and run it through a Xyron for a paper craft or stitch it to paper or a million other things all within the confines of your own brain! I will show the beginnings of an art quilt I am making from this transfer.
A little more moving and adding of various things and I will have a cute little art quilt. I promise you I WILL make that green cameo in the middle of the flower work somehow! It actually looks better in the photo than it does in real life. I'll post the completed quilt......well, when I complete it!
I hope you have fun with this technique. Remember, as with all transfers, it takes a little trial an error. A little practice and you'll have a feel for it in no time. Thanks for coming by. Have fun looking at all the other tips and tricks from the artful blogging community!