Tuesday, 27 February 2018


Good morning everyone

I hope this post finds you all well and if you're here in the UK, wrapped up against the Arctic blast which we're experiencing? Here in Yorkshire, we keep experiencing heavy falls of snow, fortunately it isn't sticking around for very long as it melts before the next fall comes along.

It's been a busy few weeks here including my annual trip to Stitches Trade Show at Birmingham NEC. There were many lovely stands and everyone had worked so hard to bring us all new and exciting products to delight our creative senses. Needless to say, I've been itching to get back to my workroom and create!

The highlight of the trip was meeting a long time idol of mine - Kim Thittichai. If you're not familiar with Kim, she is an exceptional textile artist who has inspired many students over her exciting career. You can find her blog here - Kim's Hot Textile's - it's certainly worth a look if you're inspired by anything shiny, textured or textile and have an interest in burning and heating materials!!! We played  with heavy weight Lutrador and Xpandaprint. You can purchase all these materials and more, plus many inspirational, educational books from Art Van Go if you'd like to give them a try.

Basically, Lutrador is a synthetic fabric originally used as an interfacing. It comes in a variety of weights, the most popular being 30, 70 & 105 gsm. It is easily coloured with acrylic paints, dyes and inks but it will take a while to dry, blotting with kitchen towel will remove the colour and heat will create holes so bare this in mind. Furthermore, it can be stitched, stamped and embossed using puff paste to add extra texture and interest. Add heat with an iron, heat gun or soldering iron to create holes - basically experiment as the sky is the limit!

The samples above were started at the show, the blue nautilus shell sample was coloured using spray inks and beaded at home. It isn't finished yet but I'm toying with the idea of including this into a sampler? The cream, green panel hasn't been touched other than adding colour. I'm planning on creating a book cover with this piece eventually. Both panels are on the heavy weight Lutrador with Xpandaprint which will bubble and take on a life of it's own once heat is applied while the Lutrador takes on a lacy effect as the heat creates holes - all very exciting. I found spray inks worked better but watered down acrylics or dyes would work equally well. If you add paint too thickly prior to heating, the Lutrador will not react as well as the paint acts as a barrier to the fabric below. I can't stress enough how necessary experimentation is with these fabrics and techniques. So many variables are possible dependent on the thickness of paint, paste, where the heat gun is positioned and how intense the heat is.... why not give it a try for yourself?

Okidokee... I'm off to do a few chores before coming back as I've been asked if I could explain how the UTEE heart was created in my previous post.

Stay warm, Julie xx

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