My last post showed my painting results.
I drew a few flower shapes onto 3 different types of fabric, a fine white fabric that had been pre-washed, an unwashed calico and a pre-washed calico .
I coloured the flowers in with Inktense Pencils. They behave like any other pencil when applied to fabric but when water or textile medium is added to them they become very vibrant. These watercolour pencils are supposedly safe to use on fabric and are permanent when set.
I had heard that once water is applied to them and they are set with an iron the colour would be colourfast. The only way to find out for sure was to test it myself.
Once I had coloured in the flowers. I painted one with water, one with Jo Sonya's Textile Medium, one with 50/50 Textile Medium/Water and I left another flower untouched with no medium or water.
When the fabric was dry I heat set them with a hot iron.
|Pre washed fabric|
I was really surprised by this because I was testing to see if the pencils were colourfast after washing not if the pencils were going to run when water was applied to it. I didn't use a lot of water when painting over the flower.
The next fabric I used was an unwashed Calico.
But then I wondered if it was just a property of calico, so I coloured in a flower on pre-washed calico and painted half with water and half with textile medium to see if there was a difference.
There was bleeding with the half that had been painted with water.
This proved that fabric needed to be unwashed to prevent bleeding with the water.
I hand washed the fabric in cold water, rubbing slightly.
|After washing-white fabric|
|Before washing-white fabric|
After washing the previously unwashed calico, I had similar results. The flower treated with the textile medium was much more stable and brighter.
|After washing- unwashed calico|
Here is the first photo of the calico before washing to make the comparison easier.
|Unwashed calico before washing|
It is harder see to see the difference in the photos but the flower treated with textile medium stayed the same and the flower treated with water washed out a bit more.There was still colour in the water treated flower but the flower treated with textile medium retained its vibrancy.
The flower in the bottom left corner that had not been treated with water or textile medium had faded considerably.
I actually decided to repeat these tests to see if I got the same results and I did.
My results are that Inktense pencils must be treated with Textile medium to become permanent. The fabric still remained fairly soft because I only painted the textile medium very lightly.
I don't agree with the argument that an art quilt hanging on the wall will not be washed. When quilts are being judged at Quilt Shows, the quilts in each section are laid on top of each other. It would be a disaster if the colour from a quilt rubbed onto someone else's quilt.
I often block my quilts with water and I wouldn't like to have any unhappy accidents with the pencils bleeding.
Mind you, I don't intend to be making quilts using pencils anyway, paint is much quicker and with greater impact but there are times when subtle shading is needed and a pencil may be just the right thing.
Bye for now,