Craft MNL Labs: hand-stamped scarves!
The air grows chilly as the (dare we say it!) Christmas season approaches. What better way to warm yourself with handmade love than with hand-stamped scarves! We experimented a bit with some extra cheesecloth we had (not the most ideal scarf fabric, but it worked, anyhow). And since we missed out on our Labs post last Monday, we’re posting two scarves for your crafty delight.
I have some behind-the-scenes photos of the yellow scarf production(since I was able to squeeze in making this one myself–yay for crafting time!), so we can start with that. I cut off a piece of cheesecloth (katsa), basing the size on an old scarf that I had (figured that the cheesecloth had a relatively loose mesh that was gauzy enough for a scarf–er, that didn’t entirely end up being the case though). Then I whipped out my trusty Brother sewing machine and decided to practice a bit with my narrow hemmer foot. I’m actually not sure if the picture above shows the correct way of using it, but in the end, I had narrow hems on my scarf (right photo) that seemed rather acceptable.
After finishing the sewing, I got some yellow dye, heated up some water, and filled a basin with a sachet of dye (it apparently wasn’t quite enough, so I got a really faint yellow hue). I tied up the hemmed scarf fabric with little rings on the ends, and some full body cinches (er, is there tie-dye speak?) for some lines across. It didn’t really come out very well though. Harhar. Undaunted, I proceeded with carving out a double-sided stamp from the rubber block (the eraser kind) Lex got me from Japan. It was thick enough for carving on both sides, so I made complementary designs, and sliced off a sliver to make the stamp for the lines and dots.
I inked up a glass sheet with some gray textile paint I had, and stamped away at the ends! After it dried, I soaked the scarf in a vinegar solution (to soften the fabric). To maintain its crumply appearance, I keep it twisted when in storage. It hangs a bit heavier than those lovely gauzy scarves, but for a first experiment, it turned out okay.
Nikki tried it out too, carving a polymer eraser for her stamp. She says though that it would be best to carve out entirely the un-needed negative space on the stamp, as there’s a tendency to mark as well (these can pick up paint too). Since the eraser’s soft, regular carving tools will do.
And that’s how inking the stamp looks. There are actually stamp pads for textile, but we figured to use what we have and use the textile paint we normally use for screen printing too. Thing is, if you use this method, the paint has to be viscous enough (not too runny) to spread evenly and more collectedly on the glass surface. I’ve seen tutorials online that show the brayer applied to the stamp (which is the more proper method), but hey, anything goes. Whatever works. 🙂
Nikki then applied the stamp in a gradient pattern, gathering at the edges. Yay! I think the red worked out really nicely with the dyed textile.
Got any experiments you’d like us to take on? Let us know!