This is a fantastically quick way of printing a repeat pattern onto fabric. The block is so speedy to make, using a plastic inking plate and stick-back foam. We are using Permaset Aqua Metallic Textile Screen Printing Ink which works beautifully with a Textile Roller to print onto dark fabric. See the entire process in a video below and read on for the steps!
Begin with a piece of paper the same size as your plastic plate. In order to create a repeat pattern without an obvious grid repeat, we want the prints to tessellate a little. Draw a wavy line along one side of the paper. Cut off this end section, move it to the other side and, keeping it in the same orientation and draw along the edge. Do the same for the top and bottom of the paper.
Cut off the remaining two edges along the drawn lines. You should have a piece of paper with the same shape left and right and the same shape top and bottom.
Next, place the paper underneath the plastic plate. We are going to use this shape as a guideline for placing our foam.
Cut shapes from the sticky foam and arrange them on top of the plate within the area of the paper. Make sure to go close to the edges of the paper as this is where the pattern will meet.
When you are happy with the layout, unpeel the sticky back from each piece of foam and stick it to the plastic plate. Check that your prints will fit together by testing the paper at the top, bottom, left and right of the foam shapes.
We are using Permaset Metallic Textile Screen Printing Ink in this beautiful copper. We are printing onto dark denim.
Printing onto a padded surface will help us get a strong, even print. Pin the fabric onto the padded surface to stop it moving whilst you are printing.
Because we are using screen printing ink, we need to use a Textile Roller. This roller is slightly spongy which stops it slipping in the ink. Roll out a small square of ink on an inking tray.
Use the roller to transfer ink to the block. We need to be fairly generous with the coverage without it becoming splodgy. Aim for a suedey texture rather than drag marks and thick edges.
Use a rag to wipe off any ink that may have got onto the plate.
Place the block face down onto the fabric. The transparent plate will enable you to see exactly where the print will go.
Press down onto the black of the block with the flat of your hands.
Lift the block to reveal the print.
Re-ink the block. Place it alongside the first print. The transparent plate will enable you to place the shapes for a snug, even repeat pattern.
The copper ink prints beautifully on the dark denim. Standard screen printing inks will not show up on dark fabrics. This metallic ink is semi-opaque and prints brightly. Below, the same block has been used to print onto black fabric where it is even brighter!
To heat set the fabric, when the ink is completely dry, iron the print with a dry iron until it is hot to the touch.
To make this project you will need:
- Small Inking Plate
- Sticky-back foam sheets
- Padded surface
- Permaset Aqua Metallic Textile Screen Printing Ink
- Textile Roller
- Inking Tray
- Spoon or spatula