Enhance your art by adding a layer of monoprinted sheer fabric,
such as organza or habotai silk! Watch this video demonstrating useful tips and
mark-making inspiration for Gelli® printing on sheer fabrics!
Layering Gelli® printed sheer fabrics as a collage element can
add depth to your artwork. Whether you work on journal pages, cards, canvas,
fabric collage, art quilts, watercolors, or mixed media — adding your own
translucent monoprinted fabric gives it a different look!
Printing on sheer fabrics is fun and easy — and here are a few
tips that should help ensure good results.
Stabilizing sheer fabric before printing is a step I definitely
recommend — it makes the flimsy fabric easy to handle. Adding a backing to
sheer fabric also keeps the paint from seeping through and making a mess on
Ironing fabric onto the shiny side of freezer paper is a great
way to stabilize fabric for printing.
TIP: Palette paper
is similar to freezer paper — so if you prefer working with flat, pre-cut paper
— you can iron your fabric to that instead.
But some sheer fabrics, such as synthetic organza, aren’t always
With that in mind, I did some testing and can report success in
ironing this type of fabric onto freezer paper with my iron set on ‘Silk’ and
also as high as the ‘Wool’ setting — with the fabric covered with a
protective piece of parchment paper.
It’s worth experimenting! Just make sure you iron over a sheet of
parchment paper — and that the iron does NOT touch the freezer paper directly.
TIP: Sheer fabrics
tend to fray, so keep an eye out for those stray threads and remove them.
They’ll show up in your prints!
Printing on stabilized sheer fabrics is as easy as printing on
paper! For information about printing on a silk habotai scarf — take a look here.
This time, my intent for printing on sheer fabric is to use it as
a veil layer over another substrate, creating an interesting effect. The paint
I’m using in the video is Jacquard Textile paint — on a 12˝x14˝ Gelli® plate. Cuts of sheer fabrics have been ironed onto Blick 9˝x12˝ Palette paper to stabilize it.
Unless you plan to launder your fabric, any acrylic paint should
work well. Many paints have an impact on the ‘hand’, or feel of the fabric and
make it stiffer. But some fabric paints, like Jacquard Textile Paint, leave the
fabric with a nice soft hand.
TIP: These paints
can discolor the Gelli® plate — so to clean it, just wipe the plate with baby
oil and then wash it with dish soap (like Dawn) —then rinse with water and pat
dry with a paper towel. Totally clean!!
Your mark-making options are the same for fabric as for Gelli®
printing on paper, so use your favorite methods and texture tools to create
I’ve been playing with a super fun mark-making material —
compressed sponges! — and having so much fun cutting it into different shapes.
The sponge material is about 1/8 inch thick and seems similar to cardboard. You
can draw a design on it as a cutting guide — or cut freehand. Use sharp
scissors or a craft knife to cut the compressed sponge material.
shallow dish of water — and watch it expand! Squeeze out the excess water and
it’s ready to use!
If you don’t have compressed sponges, no problem! You can use
ordinary household sponges. These are great for basic shapes, but can be more
challenging to cut designs with precision. The larger hole patterns in regular
sponges make fabulous texture patterns!
To print, apply the paint to your Gelli® plate and roll into a
thin layer with a brayer.
Press a sponge onto the painted gel surface to stamp your design.
The sponge will remove paint from the plate. The holes in the sponge imprint
the coolest texture in the paint!
Create additional designs with your favorite texture tools! In
this print, I used a Colour Shaper to draw lines in the paint.
You’ll see in the video that I cover the sponge with the lid of
an old CD case and press onto the painted plate. That keeps the stamping even —
while keeping my fingers (and fingerprints!) out of the paint when squishing
the sponge. It’s totally optional.
Cover the painted Gelli® plate with a piece of stabilized sheer
fabric. Rub to transfer the paint and pull your print.
When the print is dry, simply peel the fabric off of the
stabilizing backing — it releases easily.
Rinse your sponges out before the paint dries and they’re good to
reuse over and over. When your clean sponge dries out, it’ll shrink a bit and
stiffen. But watch it rehydrate nicely when dunked in water!
Printed sheer fabrics are wonderful for layering over collage, or
text— and other papers, like sheet music, maps, ephemera, simple drawings, or
other Gelli® prints. You can adhere the sheer fabric with matte medium — or
your favorite collage adhesive.
Or, you can use a thin fusible adhesive, such as Pellon Style 807- Wonder-Web® Fusible Web with No Backing. Fusible are great when you don’t
want to use wet adhesive. The bond is instant and there’s no drying time or
To fuse — protect your ironing surface with a piece of parchment
paper. Then place your substrate on the parchment paper. Lay the fusible
adhesive on your substrate and cover with the printed sheer fabric. Cover the
whole thing with another piece of parchment paper — and press with an iron to
fuse — using the manufacturer’s recommended heat setting.
There’s so much creative potential using sheer monoprinted
fabrics to create layers in your artwork! Once you print on sheer fabrics
you’ll find so many exciting ways to use it!
Also — you can layer the sheer prints together to get awesome
effects! Especially cool when layering a first pull with its ghost, out of
register. I took these photos of some layered combinations before fusing the
fabrics to various substrates. Now I can use those pictures to create other
images! Try it!!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!!!!
And now for our Very Special Giveaway!!
kit for monoprinting on sheer fabrics
using sponge techniques!
One lucky winner’s prize kit will include:
- 1 – 12˝ X 14˝ Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
- 1 – Speedball 4˝ Soft Rubber Pop-in Brayer
- 1 – Jacquard Textile Traditionals Exciter Pack – 9 – 1/2 oz bottles
- 2 – Miracle Sponges® Compressed Sponges Packs -3˝x4˝ – 4 pcs. per pack
- 10 – Assorted Sheer Fabric pieces – stabilized on 9˝x12˝ Palette Paper
- 1 – Blick 9˝x12˝ Palette – pad of 50 sheets -disposable paper palette
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!!!!
Please—share your prints with us on our
Facebook page, or on Instagram using the hashtag #gelliprint #gelliarts or #gelliplate. Tag us with
@gelliarts on Instagram and Twitter too! We love to see what you’re creating!!
Remember, we now
have Gelli partners all over the world, so it’s easier than ever to find a Gelli retailer near you!
Luck and Happy Printing!
March 2016 – Video Blog Materials List
- 12”x14” Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
- Speedball 4” Soft Rubber Pop-in Brayer
- Silk Habotai 5mm
- Freezer Paper (Reynolds)
- Blick 9”x12” Palette (pad of 50 sheets)
- Parchment Paper (Reynolds – or any brand)
- Jacquard Textile Color – (jacquardproducts.com)
- Miracle Sponges® Compressed Sponges
- Colour Shaper– Taper Point, Size 6
- Pellon Style 807 – Wonder-Web® Fusible Web with No Backing— available at many fabric stores