Results May Vary

I had planned to type Results May Will Vary, but the latest version of WordPress editing tools don’t seem to make that possible. I wanted that caution because of my recent experiences with gel plate printing. Now I find I can’t even do a new paragraph.

<Let’s see what happens with this button. It seems to return me to Classic Mode.>

Anyway, although I’ve owned gel plates for a while, it took a nudge from a friend to get me started with them. She was interested in printing on sheer and semi-sheer fabrics, so we ironed rectangles of said fabric to freezer paper and began to print with fabric paints. After trials with shapes of cutout sponges, stencils, stamps, and patterned rolling pins we found the video instructor got better results than we did. (Here’s the video we used.)

My guess is the consistency of the paint wasn’t right, as the video’s results were much sharper. Also, the detail of some stencils didn’t show at all. We found pressing on the wet paint sometimes caused the image to smear, as in my results below. Some of my other efforts were sort of successful, but printed sheers don’t show up well.

Patterned rolling pin on silk organza
My best result was on silk broadcloth with clear images from empty spools. The fainter images were made with the end of a pool noodle.

My second experiment with gel plates involved shapes cut from a paper towel. Per the video, I coated my plate with matte medium, cut out shapes from a towel, laid them over the medium, and then sprayed fabric paint over the lot. I had more success with this approach, though I often sprayed too much paint which blurred my oval blobs. Of course I deviated from the video a bit – I didn’t use paper or alcohol inks and I applied matte medium only once. Some of my results follow.

Fabric on the left was printed with a ticking pattern.
Image is from a stencil.
I overprinted this image.
Cloth on bottom combines paper towel shapes and stencil.

I think for my next gel plate adventure I’ll try screen printing ink for fabric to see if I get more consistent results. In the video the results look great. Yes, there’s one born every minute.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under Fabric Printing, Techniques

6 responses to “Results May Vary

  1. Reminds me of my experiments with fabric dying. I decided buying hand-dyed fabric at shows was a big saving of time and money!

  2. They look great. I love gel printing on fabric, though my results are often only so-so. Printing on fabric is, IMO. much more challenging than printing on paper. Seeing these makes me want to do more. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to your ink exploration when it comes.

  3. Penny

    Results may vary, indeed! Thanks for not taking any pics of mine, Joanna… Yours may not have lived up to your expectations either; but, yes, I think a go with the Speedball ink is in order! Persistence is the name of the game.

    • I think more work space would help, so I’m deferring major work until I can use the screen porch. I may experiment with the printing inks, but I do want to try that leaf printing.

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