Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gel Medium Photo Transfer Class

I am teaching a Fabric Book Class for the Edmonton and District Quilter Guild on Feb 25/12. There is still room if you live near Edmonton and want to join us.  For the class the students need to come with at least some photos (4 or more) already transferred onto the fabric and the paper rubbed off. They should be dry and ready to sew into place. Please use what ever way you would like if you prefer another method. I will try to show you here today the gel medium transfer that I like to use.  I will be bring the supplies and demo in class too but the photos will not be dry and ready to use for two or three days. If you want to get them placed on fabric professionally or with bubble jet or TAP(Transfer Art Paper)  please do that. This method has a plastic feel and is not easy to sew though. I would not hand sew or plan to quilt thought this photo. I still like it.

First gather all your supplies. Colour ink jet photo printed onto plain (the cheaper the better not the glossy or heavy paper) copy paper. You may need to flip your image on the computer if you want it to transfer correct direction. Flipping your photo will be very important if your image has any text or has a direction to it.  Wax paper, rolling pin, Soft gel medium ( I have Golden brand), paint brush and fabric white and cut about 2 inches larger around the outside. I like to trim my photo down to have a white edge of 1/2" or so. I like my fabric to be larger than this photo paper size by about 2" around.  My book has very old photos and I used cream muslin with cotton flecks in the fabric. I feel it added to the old look. I also wanted Black and White photos and did print some with my toner black and white printer and not the jet ink. You can try both printers. Both worked well for me.

Use a large piece of wax paper under your fabric. Do not stir or shake the gel medium you do not want to add bubbles into it. Using the paint brush ( I really dislike foam brushes here, they do not let me put enough medium on) brush a good layer on to your fabric. Go left and right and up and down. Make sure the gel is on an area larger than your image. If you do not use enough some areas will not transfer. If you use to much you can get a wrinkle - I used some of mine like this it added to the old folded look. 

When you have enough gel down on your fabric place your image face down. I like to lay down from one corner to another. See photo. Sorry it is out of focus a little.

Do not lift or shift the image around. It may start to move the colour around. Place another wax paper on top and roll very gentle up and down then left and right with the rolling pin. Not much pressure here. Just once or twice and just enough to help remove any bubbles. Some gel is going to swish out on to the wax paper, that is OK.  Set the sandwich of wax paper (2 pieces) and fabric and image with gel aside to dry. Leave them in a place were they can remain flat for the next few hours. Do not stack many sandwiches or it will take longer to dry. I sometimes remove the top layer of wax paper after several hours. It may help speed drying time. If you see wrinkles developing you may not be able to save this image but next one use a little less gel medium.

When your sandwich is dry (not cool to the touch) it may take 24 hours or longer, it will be time to remove the paper. When you are sure the gel is dry you can start to remove the paper. How, you ask, do we do that?  Remove all wax paper by pulling it off the best you can. Then I use warm water, soak in sink for just a few minutes. You will see the paper get watery. Then take it out of sink and rub off paper with your finger tips. Soak and rub. Soak and rub. It may take 15 min or more to rub off paper. You may find the paper come off when the image is more damp and not real wet. I have a towel close by. Keep rubbing. When you think you have all the paper removed dry with towel and check it a a few minutes of air drying. If it is looking white and cloudy you may need to rub more with a little dampness again.  Some ink from the printer comes off more than other brands or printers. You will have to be the judge as to when to much ink is coming off and when to stop.

Students Please email me or call me if you have any questions. Your supply list sheet should have my home phone number and email address. Non students I would be happy to help you too please send me a message or comment. I hope you have enjoyed this.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Cathy. I am going to try this before the class and let you know my results. I am really looking forward to the class.