Dont Stop Thinking about Tomorrow

Orchid Textile

this is a silkscreen with both photo emulsion and discharge techniques that I made 2 summer ago in Applied Textiles class. The last few entries raised my awareness of all the “too special” to use fabrics that i have been holding on to. I mean, if i dont use them then where are they going to go? I have most of them in portfolios now but what I really want is to see these projects come to life.

So i have had an idea about using this particular swatch I made as the center front panel of a shirt. Almost like the shirt is the wall/frame around the orchids textile design.

Funny story behind this particular print- I was so excited about this flora drawing i did -it takes forever to experiment and test all the fabrics and dyes before you commit to one fabric. So the process is that  I began with the discharge method. This is basically taking out the color out of the fibers of the cloth- so that is what the big beige outline around the pink and orange orchids. It helps create dimension so you can see the design/chosen colors more clearly on an otherwise black canvas. Then after I washed the product off and let it dry, I stretch pinned it again and this time used the photo emulsion on the silkscreen. This involves coating the screen in light fluid strokes with this most sticky, slime green emulsion that you have to put on the screen in the dark room so you can barely see what you are doing!

After the screen sits in front of a fan to dry out in the dark room, you then take a transparency of the drawings that you have created, made from scanned version of the original drawing and tape it to the screen. You put it in this:emulsionstation


Press couple buttons- usually set for about 40- to 60 second cycle and the black fabric in the middle begins to tighten and sucks all the excess air out of the contraption. ( the one I use at school is actually a vertical version of this and a HUGE  machine- you load it in from the side instead) and then there’s a


And then presto it’s done. You take it out and then run it to the washing station and spray the areas where the lines are hidden and will slowly be exposed. these two photos are not mine- just examples of what a typical textile studio looks like.



Of course you can’t overcoat with the emulsion either because then the image wont come through clearly when you spray.


So basically this is a continual process of trial and error- anything can smudge, emulsion falls off too much, the color is wrong etc.  This silkscreen came out well and I so had planned for this print to begin the sequence for my final collection of prints.

It was my instructor that then suggested that i reused the same orchids photo screen for a repeat pattern look but that I should match the ink with the color of the discharged background ( the yellowish beige)of the orchids in color above. GENIUS.. I loved the result.

In the end, she decided that it was the route she wanted me to go with my final collection- she suggested that I not use any black in the final. Which looking back, I think is too bad because black creates such a contrast. Even in just texture.

So this evening’s project I decided I wanted to make a shirt with the rejected beloved fabric design. However after pinning and ironing, the sewing didn’t turn out well because I ran out of stretch needles. ($#^$!) And the dress I worked on last night? I have been given several constructive opinions that my pyschedlic marble italian silk I posted yesterday just doesn’t match with the burnt sienna cotton shirting dress I am making.  Boo but true! I decided that I really need go for it and get a complimenting fabric/lining to make it the best it can be. And in fact, this particular pattern isnt really one fo my favorites. it’s been good practice but we’ll see how it turns out.

Another pitfall was I went and did some errands today and then came home for a minute and then realized I had 20 minutes before the fabric store across the street closes! ( yes i live across the street from a discount fabric/novely store) It is not my absolute favorite fabric store but it sure as hell is convienent. I dont know if it’s because I was in a rush or just picked the wrong lining because when I got home, the satin lining felt real cheap…i am going to wash it before i make any final opinions but it DEF doens’t make the burnt sienna dress. I need something different.

Highlight of the fabric store trip is that i found some “decorative rings” that i will be needing for the dress’ back straps. It is a series of rings connected by fabric that connects the shoulder of the front of the dress to the back strap. Anyways, they didn’t seem like they had much and then I found these for 39 cents!!!! Now im not huge into pink but little crystals/rhinestones can be cute sometimes… and pink and orange are warm tones so I think it’s good find. So not ALL was lost for today’s trip to fabric store. One thing’s for sure, I’ll be back there tomorroowwwwwww! haha

D Rings for dress


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