cut and fold designs in bonded fabric technique
For Chapter 6, I used the paper form of transfer adhesive. In Australia, Bondaweb is known as Vliesofix, and, strangely, most people pronounce it like ‘flies’ rather than ‘fleas’.
Before beginning work with fabric, I painted some sheets of Vliesofix. I had read (can’t remember where) that inks work better than paints, so I used the same Art Spectrum acrylic inks that I had used to paint my paper. Here are the painted samples, in Image 1:
The blobby sample on the right is an attempt to mix my complementary colours on the one sheet. The reddy-orange, a strong pigment, tends to overwhelm the turquoise whenever I do this – it happens again later in this chapter.
And so to fabric samples. I found that while it was easy to cut the backing fabrics (mostly cotton homespun to size, once I began experimenting with sheer fabrics and others without much body, such as Bemsilk lining material (which I think is acetate), it was generally easier to cut the fabric slightly oversize, apply a square of Vliesofix, and then cut neatly around the Vliesofix to give a square of the correct size.
I began by reproducing a couple of my favourite cut and fold paper samples, as Images 2 and 3 show:
For these samples, I have used printed and plain cotton homespun, dupion silk, and Bemsilk lining.
Images 4 and 5 show further developments along these lines. The sample in Image 4 takes the cut-out shape from the sample above and adds a sheer cross in pale turquoise glass organza. This fabric is too pale and too sheer to knock back the reddy-orange shape very much. The residual glue on the organza gives it an interesting texture.
Image 5 shows a sample with a symmetrical applied negative shape viewed through an asymmetrical window. The top layer is just translucent enough to show a hint of the symmetrical shape behind.
making a decorative bonded fabric with ‘bits’’
Image 6 shows my first attempt at bonded fabric set up on the ironing board (on baking paper), ready to add the top layer. I used blue chiffon as the base layer, with tiny bits of other silky blue and green fabrics and snippings from the loose end of one of my skeins of Oliver Twists One-Offs, and the top layer was a green chiffon scarf. The two chiffon colours blended well to make turquoise.
I tried two of these samples: one with sheer fabric (chiffon) top and bottom (Image 7), and one with a ‘solid’ fabric (Bemsilk) on the bottom and chiffon scarf on the top (Image 8).
It’s difficult to gauge the effect of the red sample from the scan; photographs are not much clearer. The sheer-top-and-bottom sample is more effective. Even so, the red sample worked well with the cut and fold technique, as Image 9 shows:
more cut and fold samples
At this point, I became intrigued with the effects I could obtain by layering sheer fabrics, tissue paper, painted Vliesofix and playing with symmetry and asymmetry, as in Chapter 4. First, I decided to see how the painted Vliesofix worked on complementary and analogous colours. Image 10 shows these trial samples being set up on the ironing board, and Image 11 shows the samples once ironed.
The reddy-orange pigment is sufficiently strong to show up as red on the turquoise fabric; the effect on the analogous colour is quite subtle. I like the way in which the ripples in the painted paper have transferred to the fabric. The reddy-orange painted Vliesofix has transferred well to the sample shown in Image 12, which also incorporates a bonded shape cut from painted tissue paper.
In the sample in Image 13, though, the turquoise-painted Vliesofix has been overwhelmed by the stronger reddy-orange pigment of the background fabric, and appears as a darker, neutral colour. The top layer of this sample was cut from metallic organza, from The Thread Studio. I particularly like this one – I think, because of the subtlety of the translucent overlaid glue and fabric, and the richness of the background.
This is an effect I was also trying to achieve in the sample shown in Image 14, which superimposes two asymmetrical shapes. Having tried bonding tissue paper (Image 12), I thought that the fibrous, lacy Japanese paper might also work well with fabrics, so this is what I have used for the window shape. The orange crystal organza is applied over the Japanese paper, and changes the colour without affecting the texture. I like the effect of the organza over the paper.
More bonded fabric with ‘bits’
I had a lot of small offcuts of fabric with Vliesofix attached (and some painted Vliesofix scraps), left over from my cut shapes so decided to try sandwiching them in the fold of an oblong of the pale turquoise glass organza. I though if I stripped off the paper and put some offcuts facing up and some facing down, there would be enough Vliesofix in the whole assembly such that I wouldn’t need to apply a sheet of Vliesofix to the organza – and so it turned out, as Image 15 shows:
The glue-up and glue-down scraps appear quite different, with the glue-up sides looking frosty. I’ll save this piece for later.
Image 16 shows me holding this piece up to the window – it looks quite interesting against the light (perhaps a bonded fabric such as this would work as the basis for a lampshade, with some stitch and possibly other embellishments).