Printing onto Lutrador

Now that I am back in my studio, I can not only get to work on some fibre art, but will actually write an instructive post for a change

As part of Devon Art Works 2007, my studio will be open to the public from 8th – 23rd September. As well as having some of my art quilts on display, I will have artmoney, fibre art books and Angelina vessels for sale.

I started off my creative day with elevenses, a snack that is similar to afternoon tea, but eaten in the morning. The name refers to the time of day that it is taken: around 11 am. I had a cup of English Breakfast tea with milk and one sugar, brewed in my favourite mug, and a bacon and marmalade sandwich on toast.

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When I was at Laura Cater-Woods’ workshop in Asheville this summer, I joined in on a Lutrador order and got 2 yards of it. Lutrador is a non-woven polyester fibre which has it’s origins in the automotive industry.

I also took Martine House‘s Fiber Fun course this summer, in which I got to try several surface design techniques such as making silk paper, using Tyvek film, creating “magic cloth” with various fibers and soluble stabilizer, stamping, foiling and needle-felting.  I showed her some of the artmoney that I had with me and she accepted a piece in partial payment for her course.

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I’ve printed photographs onto Lutrador before. It gives an ethereal feeling to the photograph because the fibres pick up the inks and slightly diffuse the image.

Jubilee Bridge, London

Jubilee bridge

Printed onto Lutrador

Today, I printed some photos to make artmoney with. Artmoney is 12cm x 18cm, or 4.75″ x 7.12″. I have an Epson DX6000 Inkjet Printer/Scanner. I chose an Epson because it uses waterproof, archival quality inks. It also has seperate cartridges for the cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks. I find this an advantage over the three-in-one color cartridges of other printers because if I run out of a certain color, I only have to replace that cartridge.

I chose my photographs, ones that I have taken in London. I printed them 5″ x 8″ which is a perfect size for the artmoney blank. (I had previously cut the blanks from medium weight watercolor paper) A tip that I had picked up from Laura was to iron freezer paper onto the Lutrador. This is not necessary for stabilization. In fact, Lutrador can go straight into the printer. The freezer paper keeps the ink from going through the Lutrador, which is very porous and getting all over the rollers. So for my first print, I used a freezer paper backing. You can see the printed Lutrador on the left and the freezer paper on the right, showing how much of the ink goes through.

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Then I realized that I will have to iron fusible web onto the back of the printed Lutrador to affix it to the artmoney blank. I am always looking for shortcuts, so I thought ‘Hey, why not iron fusible web to the Lutrador instead of freezer paper’. So I did. The freezer paper stabilized image is on the left and the fusible web stabilized image is on the right. I find it darker and more detailed, because although the ink did go through the Lutrador as before, the glue on the fusible web captured it.

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Here you can see the two backing papers. Freezer paper on the left and the fusible web paper on the right.

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Because my fusible web is on a roll, the prepared Lutrador is slightly curly. I can iron it on both sides (using parchment paper) to flatten it, but the curl always seems to come back. So I have to take care when it goes through the printer and guide it through. Otherwise this can happen!

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Images ready to be made into artmoney

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6 thoughts on “Printing onto Lutrador

  1. Pingback: Bacon, marmalade and pumpernickel. Seriously. « Blue Kitchen

  2. Your work has been inspirational and I wonder if you have a European supplier? And in that case if you would like to share their address with me?
    Shashi

  3. I just watched a video of a class by Kaythanne White and she used Inkaid on the Lutrador( and dried) before printing and it helps absorb the ink even better. You might want to try it.

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