Saturday, 23 January 2010

Block Lotto - Fabric printing finishing - Tutorial part 2

Right so, I've printed that WOW fabric and left it to dry overnight. 

Then today I heat set it by ironing it with a flat (not steam) iron on cotton setting (as that's what my base fabric is) between two layers of baking parchment, on both sides.  Smooth movements to take around 10-15mins per metre of cloth (per Committed to Cloth instructions).  Not a steam iron because if you have it set on 'no steam' and don't move fast enough you can end up with a steam holes pattern on your cloth...  And as I'm using the ironing board my beloved cleaning lady Pat uses for the household linen, and I wasn't sure how the screen ink would react to the heat I used baking parchment - I wasn't going to get in trouble for messing up the board! Also, I didn't want to have to clean off the iron if it melted a bit....

Then I waited for the cloth to cool down, tore off a bit of excess and stuck the rest in the washing machine on a 40 degree quick wash cycle with washing powder (no fabric conditioner).  Whilst I was waiting for it to finish, I took some of the strip and tried ironing it directly with the flat iron.  And found that after a couple of minutes at cotton setting the screen ink blackened up on the fabric, however if I just passed the iron over quite quickly at a lower setting, it was fine.  However, I need to remember that whoever gets these blocks needs to know that ironing care is required!

And I was very pleased to find it survived the washing cycle without any ill-effects at all, and it improved the handle no end!

This above is the fabric wet out of the machine, and this below is the strip (top) I tore off before washing and the washed fabric (bottom) - you can't see but the only effect the wash had was to remove 'crispy bits' of excess ink that were sticking up from the fabric.

So then I decided to make up a sample of the TicTacToe blocks I'm planning to make with the already selfdyed cotton sateen. 

These are the colours I've chosen - I've got twelve 9" blocks, and can submit nine for the Block Lotto.  I'll make all twelve and pick the nine best for the Lotto, keeping back the others for making something else or even blog candy in due course maybe (if they're up to scratch).

Then I thought I'd better make up one block first and wash it at 60 degrees to make sure the selfdyed stuff is colourfast, and that my stitching can stand it!  As you can see below, the stitching coped well (although I don't overlock my raw edges so there's a bit of stray threading).

And best of all, it's colourfast, no runs onto the white and no obvious fading!  Also there was no shrinkage either.  Although I've messed this block up by ironing it on too high a heat and some of the corners in the inside WOW bit have got blackened ink as a result.  Curses! So that's only 11 blocks available now... Lucky I didn't just go with nine base pieces!  Anyway this last pic shows the basic fabric (washed at 40 degrees already) and the ironed block which has been washed at 60 degrees - you can see where I 'burnt' the ink on the inside of the crosses on the left - smudgy black bits.  It didn't happen when I was making the block so just normal pressing for a short time doesn't cause it, it was caused when I was pressing really hard to dry out the block to save time.  So more care next time!

I am absolutely thrilled! and am now assuming that the whole batch of selfdyed cloth is colourfast to 60 degrees as I treated them all the same when I made them - although I'd recommend 40 degree wash to whoever wins them.

So, now all I need to do is make the other 11 blocks, pick the best 9 and post them on the Block Lotto.  Excellent!

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