Thursday, August 12, 2010

You Won't Believe It: Saving Wipe-Up Paper Towels to Make Fabric Paper

I read about saving the paper towels that you use to wipe up paint and dye and was a little grossed out and exasperated---I save way too much already!  Truly, though, this technique not only recycles, but the scrunching of the paper towels as you wipe up paint/dye creates a pattern.  When you open the PT to flatten it out, you'll see the "tie-dye" pattern.  (Actually, it's a Japanese shibori resist technique---I mentioned "shibori" in one of my earlier posts about arashi shibori patterned scarves.)

Next time you plan to use textile paints or dyes, pay attention to how you scrunch the PT.  You can unfold, rescrunch it to get more color in a white area, unfold and rescrunch, etc.  Then carefully unfold it, gently pull out the painted areas to flatten, then let dry.  Once dry, turn it over on an ironing board (paper, etc., underneath may help to save staining your board), and with steam, adhere a lightweight iron-on interfacing to the back.  Voila!  You have made fabric paper.

The first image shows two of the wipe-up painted paper towels.  The second image shows two pieces that I purposely poured liquid dye pigment on, let dry, and then printed Lumiere paints with stamps.  Between these two techniques, you'll end up with a lot more fabric paper than you probably can use.

 I've sold a lot of these to people doing scrapbooking.  I use them to make dolls, such as my "Self-Portraits in Bloom" shown in one of my previous posts (July'10?).   So, another way to have more fun with your artwork than you thought possible!