Monday, June 13, 2011

altered fabric part i

i am making all sorts of altered fabric these days. so far i've used it to make the infamous don juan marteen purse AND a duct tape tri-fold wallet. the uses are ENDLESS though. this first posting will be a simple how to make the altered fabric

you can start out with just about anything. art paper, different fabrics, fibers (best to sandwich the fibers between sheets of netting if fiber is the only base you'll start with). i used muslin. you can leave the muslin as is or color it. i've used fabric paints, regular paints, fabric markers, regular markers.

place a sheet of muslin (or fabric/fiber of your choice) on top of a sheet of freezer paper (shiny side up). then go at it. paint it, mark it, whatever. mix some acrylic gel medium with an equal amount of water. i used an old earth balance margarine container with a LID (so i could mix up more than one usage worth. you'll need it). the gel medium could be flat, glossy or anything in between. i've used both and i seem to dig the glossy more. it also appears to dry a tad faster.

after you mix the water and gel medium paint it on your colored fabric (on top of the freezer paper). let it dry. (i used cheap art brushes. in between gel medium layers i leave the paintbrush in a plastic cup of water and dishwashing liquid) it could be a couple of hours or a day. it's up to  you. then you can start placing pictures or art papers or tissue papers or origami papers or stickers or yarns or gold/copper/silver/blue/red leaf or more paint or whatever on the next layer. it's important to COAT WITH ANOTHER COAT OF GEL MEDIUM/WATER BEFORE adding the layer of pics/papers/more paint. so get it all coated again then place your new stuff on top while it's still WET. coat that with MORE gel medium and let dry (again, a few hours or days. it's up to you and your schedule). continue on with more layers of gel medium. i personally put on a minimum of six coats (usually more though), but it's up to you to do what YOU want. remember if you're going to add more pics or papers or stickers to your fabric ALWAYS put another layer of gel medium on FIRST (AND after).

you can fold this fabric.  you can sew it (in part ii i'll show you my actual don juan marteen purse. it's sewn, knitted, beaded, embroidered) and bend it. it makes a great gift item.

the pics are all from my first altered fabric. i've made three others so far. it takes time. a few days - like i said, i do a LOT of gel medium layers and it should be dry between paintings. ok ok ok, sometimes i don't wait for a COMPLETE dry but YOU should. 

altered fabric part iv
altered fabric part iii
altered fabric part ii
altered fabric part i

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