Silk Organza Paper Lamination Project

I’m really interested in trying to make this new technique I learned–laminating paper onto fabric with acrylic gel medium–work. I have a lot of exploring to do. The print or image on the paper is transferred to the fabric via the gel medium, and then you can peel off the paper: the image is left behind. Lots of potential. I’ve posted about it before.

To start with, I made lots of color and black and white copies of photos of prickly pear cactus I’d taken last year:

I set a goal today of completing a small composition of prickly pear cactus; I drew a general design on 4 pieces of paper from my sketchbook I taped together to make an 18″x24″ piece of paper, and then I started ripping up the color copies to make a collage:

The glue is so old that when I squeezed the bottle the plastic broke and started leaking on the side: this is a dry climate!! Here’s the finished collage, which I completed while watching a rerun of the Australian Open:

I put the collage on a padded piece of plywood I use out on the patio when I dye or paint on fabric. Here, the collage appears blue because I stretched–and diligently pinned–a piece of silk organza over it. Pinning is key, because the fabric and paper gets wet when you apply the gel medium, and the tighter the fabric, the more your image is successfully transferred to the fabric.

Outside, I took a small silk screen and quickly used a squeegee to force gel medium through the screen mesh and onto the silk organza/paper collage sandwich. This took about 3–4 minutes. The collage stayed on the padded plywood for 10 minutes, then I unpinned it and let it dry in the sun for 30 minutes. Once inside, this is what the backside looked like:

Most of the paper will have to be soaked off in a bucket of cool water, but I peeledĀ  some of the bigger pieces off first (thus having less paper pulp to clean up outside). Before soaking, the piece needs to be pressed–on the highest setting–using baking parchment to protect the iron. Here you can see how stiff the fabric is from the gel medium:

Once pressed, I stuck the fabric into a bucket of warm water, and after 15 minutes pulled off most of the paper, and scrubbed off the rest on the padded bit of plywood outside. I soaked it again for 30 minutes and scrubbed once more, and that seemed to get most of the paper off the back side, and here you see the front side of the silk organza, as it looks pinned on my white design wall:

It’s about 18″x20″. I think it looks pretty cool. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it now….but I’ll post here when I figure it out. Maybe I’ll just straighten it up and quilt it.

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