Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bonded fibre film -Angelina

I had intended to blog about the workshop I did today with Neroli Henderson at ATASDA, and I will, but unfortunately, I am away from home for a few days and forgot to bring my card reader with me.  Silly me.  So you will have to wait for that one.  Needless to say it was great and a great group of people.
So, with no more ado, I will instead show you the first of the bonded fibres experiments.  In my categorisation of fibre films, these are the heat method.

As you might have noted, there is one further group after this.  The final type of fibre film at present is making films by manipulating fibre and fabric.  I have updated the Tutorials page so that all the fibre film tutorials up to this one are listed.

So, back to bonded fibre films.  The reason I call this the heat method is that, unlike the glue method, these films require heat to bond.  As fibre artists, we are blessed with a range of heat bonding methods.  Fusible webs, bonding powder, plastics and angelina are a few that come to mind.  My soldering iron applique method fits into this category as well.  This is the method I used to make the rocks in my first challenge piece for tangled textiles
The first one I am going to look at is angelina.
The first and most important thing (other than an iron, of course), is silicone coated paper, release paper, or baking paper as we call it in Oz.  All of these bonding agents could make a mess of your iron, so you need to protect it and your ironing surface as you work.
I usually roll off a large piece and pre fold it in half, so that I can fold it over the top of my layers before I iron
Above, I have spread a very thin layer of angelina on the baking paper (I did have a picture, but you could not see the angelina), then I have laid some threads and fancy yarn scraps over the top of the angelina.  I then laid another fine network of angelina over the top of this - to trap the yarns between.
Here, You can see the top layer of baking paper folded over the fibre layers.
After ironing, the angelina fuses together, trapping the yarns into a fine net.  When ironing these angelina films, I give the film only two or three quick sweeps with the iron.  If you keep the iron on the film too long, it will dull the shine of the angelina fibres.

So that is the basic method:
  • a layer of angelina
  • a layer of bits
  • a layer of angelina
  • baking paper
  • iron briefly
The film can be stitched through quite easily, and it doesn't take much angelina to make a film.  My personal preference is less is better.  you can always add more if required, but besides thick films not looking as good, they are also harder to stitch.

Here are some pictures of a few samples:
This is the first film with a wide variety of threads and yarns.
This lovely sample trapped some skeleton leaves I found in the garden.
This one uses bits of foil from lolly (candy) wrappers.
This one uses snippets of light lutradur or rainbow spun.  All very shiny!
These are snippets of gold shot organza and crushed velvet.  Great texture.
This, is strips of coloured plastic bags.  The bags also melt and pucker.
And this last sample, the piece de resistance, is silk tops.  Using this method, it is possible to make extremely thin pieces of silk paper which will not fall apart and can be stitched down easily.  There is the added bonus of the sheen of the angelina setting the silk colours off.

Making these films can be addictive, you can use almost anything small and flat and they make lovely additions to art quilts and fibre art pieces.  I like to use them like a mat between a background and a small art piece.  They frame small work beautifully, but they can also be torn or cut up for inclusion in your work.

A little bit of shiny stuff goes a long way and can help to give interest to the focus of your piece. 

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