Saturday, July 23, 2011

Creating silk paper and other fibre films Method 2 - Glue method Part 6

Making Fabric Paper.

Another way to use Method 2 (Glue method) is to use fabric as a base and add to it.  In these samples, I used different foundations and added paper scraps to them.  This creates a useful foundation for stitch, but also a firm, durable paper for collage.
For all the samples, I used torn and scrunched papers.  Torn edges will bond better and look better.  I scrunch up my papers to put texture in them and to make them more pliable and allow the medium to absorb easier.  The papers range from wrapping paper, to rice paper, to coloured scraps of printer paper, to handmade papers, and all will give different effects.
For the first sample I used a heavy weight scrim, or cheessecloth.
I painted it with medium.  You can iron the fabric prior to using it, but I find that when you paint the medium on, you can brush the creases out.
Start adding the paper scraps.  I painted each scrap individually with a 1 to 1 dilution of medium.  You will know when you have painted them properly, because they will sit flat on the base, instead of wrinkled.  This is important.  Each scrap needs to be wet all the way through with medium in order to bond properly.  After a while, you will gain experience with this, but some papers, such as wrapping paper have a cellulose gloss added to them, which takes a lot of wetting and manipulating with the brush before it is soaked right through.  Generally the colour of a scrap will be darker when it is soaked through.
Here all the scraps have been added.  I like to overlap them and not leave spaces, but you can if you want to.
At this stage, I lay on another layer of medium, to make sure the surface is wet for the next step.
Add ripped up pieces of tissue paper (the wrapping type, not the blowing type).  You can add different colours or not, depending on your taste.  You can also use pieces of sheer fabric - organza, chiffon and scrim, dyed or not here, but you will need to take care that the medium binds them down properly.  Another variation is to entrap pieces of foil, fibres, leaves, flowers etc by adding them before the tissue layer.
After adding the tissue and any other additions you might like, sponge on some diluted paint.  I used a metallic purple setacolour fabric paint - but use whatever you have got.
I also added some gold setacolor which I dabbed on with a brush.
 The fabric paper now needs to be dried.  Above is this piece after drying and a light press (on the fabric side) with the iron.  This paper has a lovely raised texture on the surface from the wrinkles in the tissue, which is highlighted by the gold paint.  It is firm, but easily manipulated and very easily stitched.

The next sample used thin cotton as a base.  I used the same technique, so I will not repeat the steps again.
Here is the cotton ready to start.  This fabric was from my scrap bag and has marks on it.  I chose it because of the imperfections, which will add to it's charm.
Adding the papers as I did previously.
After adding the tissue.  I added some pink tissue to this one.
And the final piece after drying and ironing.  This piece is slightly stiffer due to the cotton, but is still flexible and stitchable.  The cloloured tissue tended to blend the colours in the papers more than straight white, which was a nice effect.

In my final sample, I used a very lightweight scrim as the base.
Here is the scrim laid out.  This fabric will crinkle as you paint it with medium, and is very easily stretched, so take care at this step.
Above is the finished piece before drying and pressing.
And the finished piece.  This paper is extremely lightweight, but still has some stiffness. With this one, I liked the way some of the papers bled colour as it dried.  The other samples did not do this and I will have to experiment to find out how I did this, lol.

These fabric papers are a preliminary to making book covers.  The final papers will be stitched and embellished for this purpose. 
In order to remove some of the stiffness of these papers and use them in fabric collages, all that is needed is to scrunch them up and open them out flat several times - until you are happy with the texture.  You will find that they take on a more fabric-like feel as you do this.  The fabric and paper should not come apart.  If this happens, then I would guess that you did not totally saturate the scraps with medium in adding them to the base.  This is a very important step, and is why I add the pieces one by one.

Happy scrapping!

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