Hey everyone, today I have not so much a finished craft but an idea and some experimenting to show you!
When I was in the shops, I spotted these small, plain fabric, bags (are they cotton? I’m not good with fabrics). As the bag was less than €2, I figured it would do no harm to pick one up and experiment with it. I didn’t have any plans in mind but I was sure I’d think of something.
When I was looking at the bag later that day at home, I thought stamping on it might be a fun thing to do. I didn’t bother looking anything like tips up at all as I wasn’t near my laptop so I jut grabbed a stamp I thought would work and some ink. I went with my A5 steampunk background stamp and Stazon ink. I figured I’d try Stazon because it works for stamping on tiles, it might work for fabric. Also, I don’t own that many types of ink.
So, with bag, stamp and ink in hand, I set to work. The end result is quite nice. I used black ink but the black isn’t as strong on the fabric verses on paper. The fabric gives it a nice softer hue, I think.
I learnt a few useful things from this first stamping. I had my A5 stamp on a clear block, inked up my stamp and with bag flat on my desk, pressed the stamp down into the bag. Even though I thought I had pressed down everywhere, when I lifted the stamp up I found I had lovely crisp images from around the side of the stamp but the centre was nowhere to be found! I tried again but the same thing – I couldn’t get the middle. After the second try, I decided to re-ink my stamp, lay the clear block flat on the table and bring my bag to the stamp, pressing gently down on it. When I lifted the bag up this time, it looked much better!
Of course, this raised another issue – it’s better to only stamp once because no matter how careful I am, there always seems to be some misalignment with the image creating a somewhat blurry look:
I quite liked how stamping on the bag came out and if I had brought the bag to the stamp the first time and in future stamping, the blurred image wouldn’t be a worry.
Having done that, I decided I wanted to know how the ink on the bag would react to water, you know, like in case it got wet from the rain. Although, rather than give it an easy time, I decided to just through the bag in the washing machine to see what would happen. It turns out, a lot of the Stazon ink gets washed away!
One side came out really faded (see above) and the other side was almost washed away completely.
So, don’t do that!
These are the things you could probably learn about from the internet but it’s good to experience them for yourself sometimes. After drying the bag out again, I decided to do some more stamping. This time, I used the smaller steampunk stamps rather than the background one. The first time I used one, I had it on a clear block but again, I struggled to get a good impression so I actually took it off the block and stamped without putting it on anything, just laying it down on the bag carefully and gently pressing down. This seemed to work more better because as the stamp was more flexible, it was able to get the ink onto the textured fabric better. I think, at least!
I also tried using a different ink. On one side of the bag, I used more Stazon ink but on the other, I used a Lawn Fawn ink I had that I got to use with alcohol markers.
I was really happy with how the Lawn Fawn ink worked actually, it got some really nice, crisp images from the stamps on the fabric, even over some faded images. I had some vague memory of people heat setting things with fabric (for what I’m not sure!) so I figured some heat wouldn’t do the bag harm. Rather than pull out the iron though, I just a hair straightener and ran it over the bag a few times. I’m not sure if that had any effect on the ink but it at least made the bag nice after coming out of the wash – in hindsight, might have been useful to iron it after I took it out of the dryer and before stamping!
Considering what the washing machine did to it, I decided against that for a second wash so instead I gave it a quick hand wash in the sink with some soap and then dried it on the radiator. Both inks fared that reasonably well, though I think the Lawn Fawn ink did better.
That would have been the end of my testing but the bag got another test when I threw a banana into it for when I was going on my shopping trip to IKEA. In the packing of the car, the bag ended up under a heavy package so the banana made a mess. I threw the bag into the washing machine again. The Lawn Fawn ink stood up well enough considering it was in the washing machine and was its second time being washed. Also, the old Stazon didn’t fade any more which was interesting.
However, one thing this bag couldn’t handle – squished banana. Even after the washing machine, the banana mark was left so into the bin with this one!
Still, I learned a lot from this and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my experimenting process when it comes to crafting.
Although, if anyone does have any tips for stamping on fabrics, do let me know!