30 July 2013

Heat transfer processes on fabric - day 1

Dye sublimation printing transfers disperse dyes from paper to synthetic or mixed-fibres fabric, using a heat press (though an iron sometimes gives satisfactory results). At 180-200 degrees C, the dye is converted from a solid to a vapour and back into a solid as it cools down, at which point it prefers the fabric rather than the paper - and is fixed to the fabric.

This sample made with sublimation paper shows how (flat) objects can be put between the paper and fabric to be used as resists. The colour accents were a surprise - they had been used with a different colour of sublimation paper earlier -
My experiments used pre-coloured and re-coloured scrim in conjunction with the paper -
From between the newsprint, the paper laid onto the fabric emerges ...
... and reveals the printed fabric
Using the dark paper, with its impression, as a negative ...
... with no great results (too dark), but the scrim at top has transferred every detail -
Another version
And another - using the prepared paper is quick and easy
The timing in the heat press is an art, not a science - it can vary according to how intense you want the colour, and is usually between 30 seconds and 2 minutes.

Another method of sublimation is to paint disperse dyes onto paper. Painted over a photocopy, the lines act as a resist, to leave white lines behind. Here are a first and second pressing of the same sheet -
 For this one, I laid sheer fabric over a denser base - the pattern is rather lost on the sheer -
If you print the sublimation paper onto the photocopy, the lines pick up the ink - I'll practice a bit with that next time.

At the end of the day I got so interested in layering things that I forgot to take photos. A little heap of prints was piling up, and we'll be using them over the week to combine with other processes (flock and foil; photo transfer; heat setting).

The tutor is Dawn Dupree - here are some of her "domestics" -
She mentioned other artists who use sublimation printing  during a slideshow -
Susan Eyre
Rebecca Earley started printing shirts with the weeds that grew outside her studio (via)
Wendy Edmonds prints onto fleece


Martha Ginn said...

I read about your orange papers on the QA list and followed the link but didn't want to comment on an old post where you might not see it. These papers (and stories behind them) are fascinating! Thanks for sharing with us. I've only seen solid color papers--usually green--on oranges, and not even these any more.
Martha Ginn, Hattiesburg, MS, USA

Plum Cox said...

Wow! How inspiring! Thanks for sharing - brilliant results!

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