A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Monotype versus Monoprint

While the terms monoprint and monotype are often used interchangably, there is a difference in the two.  A monoprint is when a matrix is used to create a series of unique prints but there is always a part of the pattern or image that is consistantly repeated in each print.  A monotype is when there is no matrix and everything is different.
This is a monotype print that I made using a carved linoleum block as my matrix.  I still have the linoleum and could reprint this pattern multiple times in different colors and then finish with different embellishments to create a whole series of prints

Roots --jdemilo

Roots    11" square
Hand dyed and discharged cotton fabric,
Linoleum print, Embellishment with thread, yarn, and beads
Hung on driftwood

This started out as a white piece of fabric about 14" square.  I knew from the beginning that this would be a smaller piece since I was going to incorporate what I have learned in my linoleum carving/printing class.  My linoleum block is a 12" square so the finished piece could only be that big.    

 First the Matrix: I translated the picture into a design that could be carved into the lino.  I wanted there to be different textures in each layer.  I debated  about the texture to carve for the earth and finally decided on little tunnels that could have be left by animals or plant roots.

Second the Fabric: The next step was to dye some fabric with different colors in each layer.  One of the ladies in my art quilt group told us about a new method of dyeing she had just tried.  She wetted the fabric with soda ash, hung it and then squirted the dye onto the fabric.  So that is what I did.  I hung two lengths of fabric on the clothes line, did some rough measurements from the lino for where the layers should fall, and started squirting dye.

Third the Print: The next step was to print the dyed fabric.  I printed several so that I could take the best print to quilt.  I also printed some on white fabric in case I decided to try and dye the fabric after printing.
Fourth Assembling and Embellishment: I layered the fabric with batting and started some thread play to color and quilting.  Each layer has its own color of thread and quilting filler to emphasize the texture in that layer.  Next was adding hand embroidery and beading.  I also discharged some of the dye in the rock level to give highlights to the rocks.  When I got done with the embellishing, the piece looked like this:

Fifth is Finishing: I finished it by putting a facing on it to keep the edges clean.
Here is a close up of some of the roots.


  1. Ooooh, it's beautiful! I love how the rocks glow.

  2. This is so cool -- I love the finished product. How hard is it to carve the linoleum block? Where do you get something like that?

  3. This is fabulous!
    Can you tell us more about how you dyed your fabric? I would love to try lino cutting too!

  4. So I learned there is a difference between type and print. Thank you.

  5. This is one of my favorites pieces you made. I just love it but never knew the back story. What a wonderful blog post - sparking all kinds of ideas. Thanks Judith.

  6. Oh it is very pretty and inspiring-I just finished a big linocut block of a rosarium, will make a start with it now that I saw your print!

  7. Beautiful piece, and your tutorial is great! I love the linoleum print... never would have thought to do such a large one. Can you tell us what you used to print the block? Was it fabric paint, thickened dye, screen printing ink?

  8. wow, this is beautiful! what did you use to print the block onto the dyed fabric?

  9. Judith, I finally got some free wi-fi here in Italy and had a chance to check the Blog. Your piece is gorgeous. It truly shines from within. I LOVE it.

  10. beautiful ...it gives inspiration ...


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