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, September 16, 2015

Printing directly onto fabric

Today I will show you my experiments printing directly onto fabric with thickened disperse dyes.

If you buy the thickener from Prochemical and dye it contains all the necessary ingredients for printing and there are instructions on the site.Here

I started with some monoprinting on chiffon using a couple of plastic lids. I stuck a handle onto the large lid so it was easy to lift.

I painted the thickened dye onto the lid with a paintbrush varying the brush strokes as I went along
 Then pressed the lid onto the fabric.

After I had steamed and washed this piece I lost quite a bit of colour. It’s still a lovely piece and I’m only sad that I didn’t use a larger piece of fabric.

I decided that I would mix some new dye into the thickener and make the colour slightly stronger. I had added dye that I had mixed at 10% with water to the thickener. Logic should have told me that the thickener would have diluted the colour but confess I was eager to print.
With the newly mixed dye I printed onto a piece of taffeta.

Here you can see the marks that you can make with the paintbrush. I love this technique and have also used it with foam blocks and Perspex circles.
This is before it was steamed and washed out. Below is the after steaming and washing photo.

You can see the colour has changed a bit but I am not disappointed. In reality the colour is more vibrant. I would have liked the blue to be brighter but when I’ve used up this dye I will invest in some more from a different supplier.

Printing with leaves on Taffeta

Fabric pre - steamed and below after steaming.

 On Friday I will look at screen printing directly onto manmade fabrics.


  1. Ok I have some yellow synthetic taffeta with a watered silk look. I think it wants some transfer painting work!
    I also scored a donated heat press from the sewing club...it is taking up too much room there. (well, now it is here!)
    Sandy in the UK

  2. Interesting concept for printing. Will put this in my 'list' to try!! Thanks!

  3. Lots of great information and inspiration. Love the results.


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