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Full Working Design

My first full working design was taken from my PWD relating to culture, I had taken a small section of a playing card and played with it on the computer, distorting it with some of the Paint Shop Pro effects filters.

It seemed appropriate to try to transfer the design onto fabric using one of the transfer papers designed for use with my printer. I chose to use Epson Iron-On Cool Peel transfer paper, which was then ironed onto a medium weight Habotai silk.

Although I was pleased with the definition of the pattern, and the colour of the dark blues was satisfactory, the paler colours were not really close enough to those produced when printing on normal paper. I was also disappointed with the stiffness of the fabric, which I had planned to quilt.

For the second sample I cut away the pale blue portions of paper so that the original texture of the silk would be maintained. This sample was much softer than the previous one, although without the background colour it looked a little flat. I decided to divide it into quarters and experiment with each quarter differently. The top two have blue paper lamé behind the silk, the two on the left have blue silk paint applied to the white fabric. I then added some silver gutta and beads and quilted onto a light wadding with silver hand thread.

The top edge was piped with organza (this proved stronger than using the silk) over silver paper lamé, which has worked well. The same method does not work as well when used as rouleau as the 2 layers of fabric tend to move about because of this I tried a narrow hand made cord, which works better.

Full Working Design
Full Working Design

Tiny buttons, covered with organza, silver paper lamé and beads are used for the fastening. A handle for the bag is made of heavy cord and I also sampled a tassel, although I wouldn't use it in the final design.

Finally, I thought about the shape of the bag, a triangular or diamond works well with the pattern but is not practical, as it does not hang straight unless weighted at the bottom.

Similarly the curly edge at the top would not be stiff enough in this medium to hold its shape, and would be hard to neaten.

I finally concluded that although the transfer paper was interesting to use, it has the limitation of only being able to make images of A4 size or smaller, and the design is of course reversed when printed.

I think it would transfer very well onto a heavier cotton silk mix fabric and would be ideal for highly detailed images such as photographs, also it is very hard wearing although pining and tacking have to be done with care, as unwanted holes do tend to show.

Subsequent to producing this design, Rio Designs' Bubble Jet Set has arrived on the market. This is a liquid in which you soak your fabric before ironing onto freezer paper and printing directly onto the fabric. I used this for the background of my Shisha sample and it would have worked well for this design, as the silk would have fed through the printer quite successfully.

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