Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Soy Wax and Screen Printing, vilene interfacing
Today I'm going to look at creating a vilene interfacing screen design using soy wax. As far as I can see there are two real advantages to using this method. Firstly, if you like the design, then it will last for a long time and will not tie up one of your screen printing screens, especially if you don't have that many. Secondly, if like me, you like to overprint onto fabric that has already been dyed, you are only going to be printing the positive image rather than the negative one. Perhaps that is more easily explained with a photo I took of a piece of silk noil where I printed the left hand side with an ordinary soy wax screen (the negative) and the right hand side with an interfacing screen which was similar in design (the positive).
To create the design, first cut the interfacing to the size of your screen aperture, with a little overlap so that you can tape it. Using your melted soy wax and one, or more, of your mark making tools, add the wax to the interfacing. I simply used a paintbrush for this one, although I have stamped with simple shapes, like cardboard tubes, in the past. You will need to look carefully at the next photo to see the wax on the interfacing because it is almost the same colour. I tried to get in as close as possible so this is only part of the full design.
When the wax is dry, which doesn't take very long, lay out the interfacing onto a sheet of plastic and paint over the whole of the piece with emulsion paint, including painting over the wax. You will probably need to do at least two coats so make sure that each coat dries before painting the next one. Again, not easy to photograph as the only paint I had was white, I also took the photograph after only one coat so that it would still be possible to see the wax design through the emulsion. You could use any colour you have to hand as all the emulsion will be doing is to seal off the interfacing where there is no wax.
You do need to be patient now to make sure that the paint is completely dry because the next step is to wash out the wax. To do this, simply wash the interfacing in hot water. Rub the areas of the design gently so that you don't tear the interfacing and you will find that the emulsion that was over the wax washes out easily and then the wax itself will wash away too. Unless you have hands that can stand extremely hot water then I suggest using gloves for this process. When all the wax is washed out, dry the interfacing and if, like mine, it's a bit crumpled, just iron it. This next photo is of the interfacing washed out and taped to the bottom of the screen. The design shows up really clearly now.
Print as normal onto your chosen fabric (soda soaked). This was a piece of silk that had been previously dyed.
And after washing out.
Once you've finished with the printing, remove the interfacing from the bottom of the screen and wash it out. Leave it to dry and then store it for later use.
This may seem like a rather long winded way of making a screen but, with the exception of creating a thermofax screen, I have found it one of the best ways to get a design onto fabric that would be difficult any other way. I used a screen made this way to print onto this piece of cotton fabric.
And the same screen used on silk noil which was made up into a skirt.
This particular screen was made a couple of years ago and has probably printed about 4 yards of fabric so far and is still very useable. Some of the emulsion has started to deteriorate recently but I think it's earned it's keep. You can see where some of the emulsion is coming off in this photo. No problem at the moment, just additional texture!
Next up on Friday, using acrylic paint to create a design on your interfacing.