Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Iron Leaves Onto Fabric

Leaves can make attractive motifs for printing or applique.

An ordinary iron can be an invaluable tool for applying decorative fabric effects. You can make or buy heat transfers for fabric, or use an iron to fix applique elements in place with fusible tape (such as Wundaweb). You need an iron to make heat fix fabric paints permanent. Leaf-shapes work very well for all of these techniques. Cut out leaf-shapes for applique designs, or create an attractive print by coating real leaves with heat-fix paint and then ironing them onto plain fabric. Simple leaves work best for applique, but for printing you can use feathery leaves such as ferns. (See References 1 & 2)


Iron-On Applique

1. Lay your leaf flat onto a sheet of plain paper. Trace around its outline with a pencil. Cut out the leaf shape from the paper to make a template. Repeat with three or four different leaves.

2. Use your templates to cut out several copies of each leaf from your applique fabric and from the fusible webbing. (See References 2)

3. Warm the iron. Place a leaf shape onto the plain fabric with a piece of fusible webbing between them. Cover with a clean towel. Press the applique piece onto the fabric, taking care not to dislodge it. Make sure the piece is firmly attached and that all the edges are stuck down. Leave to cool. (See References 2)

Fabric Paint Leaf Print

4. Place one or two tablespoons of heat fix paint in a saucer. Apply lightly and evenly to the veined underside of a leaf, using a sponge. (See References 1)

5. Place the leaf onto the plain fabric. Lay a sheet of parchment on top. Roll flat, making sure you don't smudge the paint. Repeat, using different colors of paint and different leaves. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours. (See References 1)

6. Warm the iron to medium heat. Iron the printed cloth on the reverse side. (See References 1)

Heat Transfers

7. Place your leaves face down on your scanner. Scan and save the image. Open the image in an image editing program (such as MS Paint). Copy and arrange the leaf images so that you can fit the maximum number on one A4 sheet. Print off a test copy on plain paper. (See References 3)

8. Place the heat transfer paper in your printer as you would ordinary paper. Print out your leaf images. Cut them out. (See References 3)

9. Warm the iron. Lie the plain fabric on a hard surface. Place a leaf cut-out face down on the fabric. Lay a sheet of parchment over it. Iron carefully, making sure you get all the edges. Remove the backing paper. Allow to cool. Repeat for all your leaves. (See References 3)

Tags: plain fabric, onto plain, onto plain fabric, Place leaf, References Warm