You know those kitchen towels I (Sandra) made? I figured they were too clean and needed some pattern. I already had a stamp that I made a while back when I needed an example to use at a fabric printing workshop I did for some friends (a picture I took back then also got featured on DesignSponge’s instagram feed, wohoo).
This particular block print is easy to make: you need a wooden block, an eraser and some glue. I cut the eraser in half, and then diagonally to create four triangles in the same size. I glued them side by side starting at the bottom right side corner of the wooden block, so it is easy to see where the print will come on the fabric if you want to create a repeat pattern. It might be a bit tricky to get the erasers glued on to wood, so press them firmly to the wooden block with your hands for a while until the glue has dried a bit. Leave the block to dry completely before you use it.
Now you’re ready to print. I put the kitchen towel on some cardboard to avoid getting ink on the table and secured it to the table with tape so it wouldn’t move around by mistake. The ink I used is called Tprint from Screentec. Dab the ink on to the stamp with a sponge. Make sure to cover the erasers completely with an even layer of ink. Then press the block onto the fabric without moving it around (you don’t want to make a mess!), use the palm of your hand to press it firmly. If you positioned your erasers in the corner of the wooden block it is easy to continue and create a repeat pattern, or you might want to just randomly place your figure around the whole surface of the towel to create a different kind of pattern.
Little imperfections are allowed – it is after all a handmade print and you don’t want it to look like something you bought from the shop. You also don’t need to fill up the whole surface – leaving a blank (negative) space can be just as effectful. After you finished printing your towel you need to secure the ink to the fabric by ironing it for a few seconds. This will make sure it doesn’t come off when you wash it. I usually put baking paper between the fabric and the iron to avoid any color from sticking to the iron. It’s important you use a good quality fabric ink as a kitchen towel is bound to get washed often.
This towel became a house warming gift of a friend – together with one of Ruben’s instagram prints.
Wishing you all a creative rest of the week! : )
– Sandra –