Sunday, January 25, 2009

Photo Transfers

On Wednesday in Surface Design class we learned a few techniques for photo transferring. I think it was a total of 5 and I did 3 of them. The first technique was using Medium and a photocopy of a picture (that has no copyright! lol) using a dry toner (key ingredient, (besides the medium ;) hehe) otherwise it won't work)
You lay down the photocopy and use the Medium and "paint" over it. Making sure to cover the whole surface and let it dry for about 24 hours.

(other side of the fabric)

Once it's dry you rinse it in cold water (hot will make the glue pliable and might ruin your print) and rub away the paper.

This is a really easy technique and the supplies are fairly inexpensive the only thing I'm not a super fan of, is the fact that the medium makes the fabric a little stiff. I think it would be a good transfer method for something that was not going to be worn, like a purse/bag, or maybe a wall hanging (?). It could work on a t-shirt if you don't mind the rough medium.

The second technique was also using Medium, but to make a "decal". This one didn't turn out for me very well, because the Medium wasn't thick enough. So you use the same technique as above, just minus the fabric and you'll want to paint the medium on the front of the photocopy.

I took a photocopy of an owl "painted" over with the Medium and let it dry/set for 24 hours. Then I rinsed it in cold water and rubbed away the paper backing.

As you can tell, the Medium was not thick enough and I got some tearing. The owl is a little transparent, but it was hard to capture in the photo. I'm definitely going to try this technique again, but I will glob on the Medium so the photocopy won't tear.

The third technique we learned (of the 5, I still need to do the other 2, which I will post hopefully by the end of next week) was using xylene or "Goof Off". This was my favorite technique of all because it was SOOO simple and super cheap! (which is great, because I'm a student.) I also really liked how it turned out.
The tools you need:

- A Respirator with cartridges for gases or vapors. Even though this product is designed for being used at home for "sticker remover" or "easy clean up" it is HIGHLY toxic and can cause health problems. Please use in a well ventilated area.

(sorry, it's kind of blurry)
Told you it was cheap! lol The technique: Tape down your fabric and photocopy on a surface that will not be ruined by the "Goof Off" (we used a glass plate) If you're unsure of the surface, do a test. (If you're printing on a piece of fabric, like a t-shirt make sure you put something inbetween to protect the other side of the shirt) Place the photocopy image (remember: dry toner) face down on a piece of fabric and dip the q-tip in a little "Goof Off". Do NOT get it too wet. (I can't remember why, but I remember the teacher making a point of this! lol) Rub the q-tip on the back of the photo transfer

Make sure you do this in small sections so that the "Goof Off" doesn't dry. After you apply "Goof Off" take the back edge of the spoon and rub the wet area. Make sure to put a little muscle into it, but not too much, you'll rip the paper ;) lol. If you're not sure the image is transferring, you can always take a little peak, just make sure you don't move the paper around too much. Finished result:

I also did a second print with the same image to see how it would turn out, and I got this:

It worked, but wasn't as clear (obviously) as the first one.

I hope you enjoyed this post, even though it was super long. If you try any of the techniques I would love to see them. Also, if you have any questions, please leave a comment.

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