- Mix your disperse dye according to the directions and/or mix your transfer paint
- Paint your paper (Let dry thoroughly)
- Iron onto your fabric
- Enjoy the results!
There doesn't seem to be a lot of available reading about transfer paints/disperse dyes - a lot of people seem to use it, but almost none seem to talk about how they do it. I ordered a booklet from an artist who offers courses in the technique, but was quite disappointed with the result - the directions were pretty much what I gave you above, and lots and lots of pictures of what she did with the technique, and no information as to how those results were achieved - other than labels like "layered disperse dye". *ahem* Nonetheless, I found four or five people online who gave sketchy outlines of what they did, cobbled them all together and gave it a whirl.
As is my usual impetuous style I dove right in. I conducted a couple of unsuccessful experiments before I realized I needed to figure out what was going wrong, so I backed up and made the sample chart, above.
The lines are as follows:
- Transfer paint diluted with water to the consistency of thickish watercolour paint
- Straight transfer paint (which is surprisingly goopy and thick)
- Transfer paint mixed with (Speedball) base extender
- Disperse dye with base extender
- Disperse dye with base extender and water
- Disperse dye with water
The paper above is plain bond. There was no difference in how the dye transferred from bond or sketch paper to fabric, but the bond paper tended to curl under the weight of both paint and disperse dye so my preference was for the sketch book paper.
You can also see from the pic above how goopy the paint was - and how difficult it was to tell which colour was which. In light of that, I suggest you label each paper so that you know what colour you have - I did some plain solids in purple, cherry red and black and couldn't tell which were which when they were dry. Surprise!
I cut some of the painted and dried paper up, laid it out on my 60% polyester fabric, ironed ruthlessly and hoped for a good result.
Although I ironed FOR-EVER with good pressure this was the sad result I got. I tried it with other man-made fabrics I had in my stash, and got equally poor or even no results. For kicks and giggles, I also tried transferring on cotton and silk and got zero result. It was like nothing happened.
Sylvia Naylor (one of the artists I read who uses this technique) suggests using only 100% polyester, acrylic, etc. My intent was to go out and buy some different fabric the next day; but luckily, I found a piece of 100% polyester curtain fabric from the 80's in my white scrap bin and:
Eurkea! Well - except for where you can see that I held the iron still. Keep that iron moving!
Initially, I wasn't trying to do anything fancy - I just wanted to see what the paint/disperse dye did, so I did a number of tests like the one above - just to see what intensity of colour I ended up with once the
Make sure your paper is COMPLETELY dry before you iron, or you'll end up with burnt blobs of paint as above.
then I tried a little paper resist:
and then I tried layering a solid colour paper over bits: