I was so happy with the results of my recent experiments with painted bondaweb that I want to share the fun, so I have written down how I’m doing it. Kudos go to all the bloggers from whom I learned that such techniques exist. All the images are thumpnails, you need to click on them to see them full size. I’m sorry for this, but I guess not all my readers are really interested in this totorial and those who aren’t probably don’t want their browser blocked by loads of images. English is not my first language, so I hope this doesn’t read too confused. Tell me if it does, I’ll be happy to try and make it better and learn from my mistakes.
For those who don’t know: Bondaweb is a gossamer-like vilene that is used to make two fabrics stick to each other. It sits on a paper and is sold by the metre. Usually you iron it onto one fabric paper side up, peel off the paper and iron the second fabric on top.
raw materials you need:
* Base fabric, preferrably not too thin and made from a material that can be ironed with at least medium heat
* acrylic paints
* sheer fabric for the top layer (Organza, Chiffon or something similar)
Tools you need:
* a flat iron and a suitable surface to use it on
* maybe baking paaper to protect your ironing board
* painting equipment
Here, you see the raw fabrics for the layers: beige evenwave embroidery fabric, bondaweb (called vliesofix in Germany) and sheer polyester organza.
First, the bondaweb was painted with watered down acrylic colours. The bondaweb has a smooth side, that is the paper side, and a somewhat hoarse side, that is the vilene side. You paint on the vilene side. For this one, I used them really thin and in copious quantities, thus reinforcing the stripey effect you tend to get when painting the bondaweb. Remember that on the finished piece, you’ll see a mirror image of all you paint because you need to iron it onto the fabric face down.
The bondaweb is somewhat translucent. So if you are not that good with painting you can lay it on top of a boldly drawn pattern and paint after that.
The bondaweb has to be completely dry before continuing. To be sure let it dry overnight. Don’t dry it on a hot radiator or somesuch because that will reinforce its tendency to crinkle, or possibly melt it.
Books claim that any water-based colour system would work for that step, I haben’t tried anything else than acrylics. Oil based colours definitely don’t work.
Next, the bondaweb is ironed onto the base fabric, in this case the evenweave fabric. For this it is laid onto the fabric with the painted vilene side down and then you iron over the paper. This step is a bit complicated because the bondaweb tends to get crinkles when wet. Lay it onto the fabric, carefully flatten it and then iron it carefully. When dealing with a bigger piece, start in the middle and work towards the edges to avoid bubbles and crinkles.
If you can avoid it, don’t use the same flat iron and ironing board for this you use for your clothes. Inevitably stray bits of bondaweb will stick to them and may ruin your clothes next time you iron them. If you don’t have a second flat iron for such adventures do all the ironing between sheets of baking paper. Put an old towel or baking paper onto your ironing board.
Let this sandwich cool down completely before trying to peel the paper off. Be careful and patient when doing this, the acrylic paint may make the paper stick to the bondaweb more than it usually would. Now you can add things like words or fine details painting on the fabric directly, but don’t overdo this or the next layer won’t stick properly.
Now your piece is ready for the top layer. There is one problem: in order to really stick to something properly, bondaweb needs medium heat or somewhat below that, more hot won’t hurt. Polyester organza will melt even on the usual synthetics setting. Nylon, rayon and silk are better because they can be ironed a little bit hotter, but even with them, in my experience you won’t get the kind of connection between the layers you get with two 100% cotton fabrics. Just iron the whole thing as hot as the top layer allows, and then overstitch it sufficiently to make it keep together. If the top layer is very thin or somewhat net-like iron it through baking paper so the flat iron won’t stick to exposed bits of bondaweb. The top layer will in any case fullfil its primary purpose, whih is seal the bondaweb so that the finished piece won’t stick to anything else. The reason why I will continue to use polyester organza is its incredible sheen. The scanner really isn’t doing it justice. Experiment with different top layers for different effects. I’m in the process of this and will let you know about the results. You also can experiment with diffferent base layers of course.
You can see the same piece after stitching in my last post, if you haven’t already seen it. Now do your own experiments and have fun! For my part, I’m not entirely sure jet if this technique is really superior over just painting the fabric and then layering it using some paperless gossamer fusible or just stitching. My further experiments will hopefully show this.