I have always loved the idea of printing my own fabric. My problem is that I can’t draw! Anyway today I returned to Handprinted in Bognor after 2 years (you all know why!). They run Fab Friday workshops – 10am – 1pm each week. Like the name suggests they focus on printing – usually on paper but sometimes on fabric. This week was fabric using a lino printing technique but instead of the old brown blocks you probably recall from school we used a nice soft product called Easy Carve. It is so much easier to cut than the old brown stuff!
Anyway We were each given a block of easy carve, a set of cutters and a white pencil! Next was the hard bit for me – we were told to draw a design wit the white pencil – I can’t draw for the life of me so I opted for a really simple abstract flower – next time I will print a picture off and transfer it using carbon paper – anyway today was really about trying the technique not about producing a masterpiece!
After drawing my design I set to with the cutter – First cut totally wrong as I cut the stem out instead of round the stem.
So back to the drawing board – another drawn flower and start again. This time I got it right and cut away round my design.
The beauty of this technique is that you can cut your block into more than one piece very easily with a scalpel.So now to print! We used speedball fabric paints applied to the lino – pop it down on the fabric – hand press and take it off.
I used a plain white tea towel – so whilst my results may not be brilliant I do have a new tea towel.
I enjoyed the workshop and will definitely try the technique again – I will probably trace a design and would like to work on a coloured background. I will also make sure I trim the lino away a bit more and spend a bit of time mixing colours.
If you want to know more about Handprinted they can be found at www.handprinted.co.uk.