More printing info from Felt in Focus

This short post is mainly in response to those of you who have been emailing and otherwise asking questions about Kirsten and the binders/pigments we used during the workshop she facilitated at Felt in Focus.   Many of you (most of you!) may need to use Google translate or something similar to access the information but details about all of the products we were using may be found on this page from Kirsten’s website.  As mentioned before my favourite binder to work with left a totally soft feel in the silk fabric and is called unromantically Uniprint Binder HKSL!!!  Here is an image of one of my sample pieces blowing in the wind today at Clasheen.  I worked on a piece of my own hand dyed ponge silk and printed using pigments mixed with HKSL, the distressed design was achieved by partially drawing the colour through a

Butterflies and little round Chinese motif

variety of thermo-fax screens.

Sample printed with HKSL binder mixed with various Uniprint pigments

Kirsten speaks and writes perfect English and I know that she will be more than happy to answer questions about any of the various products she stocks, send her an email but do allow a few days for a response, she is a very busy lady!

I need to get back to my current work RIGHT NOW (deadline approaching!) so will finish blogging about this brilliant printing workshop next time, promise.

Workshop number 2 at Felt in Focus

The second workshop that I participated in at Felt in Focus was brilliantly facilitated by Kirsten Lundbergh, ‘Print, Paint and Reserve on Silk for Nuno Felting’.  In my innocence I somehow arrived to this two-day workshop with the idea that we would be printing with acid dyes, duuh, Kirsten soon put me right!!!

We started the first morning  getting to know a little bit about Kirsten’s background, really this deserves a whole post to itself but in a nutshell this is an amazing story about quitting a large and successful printing/dying business to spend 13 years teaching women living in remotest Africa (several hours from any electricity, water or facilities) how to dye cloth using simple environmentally friendly methods then showing them how to start micro businesses and bring their product to market.  I found this an absolutely fascinating and inspiring story, it also made us all realise that with the barest minimum of materials and facilities everyone should be able to print successfully without causing any harmful damage to the environment or society.  As a result of this experience all the products Kirsten works with herself and sells through her current business are totally non toxic to use.  It’s very refreshing to know that when working with children and indeed students no special precautions need to be made when printing, very refreshing also if you do tend to be a bit glib like I am!

Kirsten mixing binder and pigment

Moving on from Kirsten’s background we learnt a little about the pigments and binders we would be using.  These binders are the base to which pigments are added prior to printing or painting on your chosen fabric, my presumption re acid dyes had already flown out the window by this stage!!!  Depending on the end result we wanted to achieve there were different binders for silk, cotton, adding an opaque colour, transparent colour, opalescent colour, solid white etc., etc., etc. as well as glue type binders to aid transferring image from print to fabric, magnetic foils, the list goes on and on.  One of the most fascinating was a binder that allows you to print designs (either with or without colour) onto the fabric thereby creating a resist and then when nuno felting no wool can migrate through these areas, the second binder I fell in love with is made exclusively for Kirsten’s and means you can print on silk without altering the structure of the fabric at all, wonderful!!!  More anon …..