Saturday 4 April 2020

How to print a design on tissue paper

This year I took part in the Embroidery Association of Canada's Bookmark Exchange. I designed this bookmark with a swirl pattern on it. The blend of colours gives the piece a nautical look.

Finished Bookmark

With a mirror design like this I prefer to draw only a quarter or a half of it by hand. Then do the rest of the work on the computer. I can copy and flip the image so that both sides are exactly the same and  it's nicely centered. It makes it easier and the design is all ready to print out.

It looked difficult to copy the design on to the cloth. The cloth would be hard to see through and it is very close to the same colour as the water soluble ink. I've copied designs on to tissue paper before and sewed through the paper. Tissue paper is soft and thin making it easy to sew through. This method also works good for pieces that can't get wet.

So could I use the printer to print it onto the tissue paper? I tried cutting out the tissue paper to size of a sheet of copy paper. It looked like it was working at first. Then just before it spit the paper out. The paper got sucked back into the machine again.

Printing just tissue paper

I cut out another piece of tissue paper. I taped it to a sheet of printer paper to make it thicker and heavier. Just one small piece of tape on each side. It went right through the printer and I got a good copy. The printed lines are clear, dark and they won't wear off like pencil. It won't stress or tear the paper like a pen.

printing taped to computer paper

I basted around the outside edge to hold the paper in place and mark out the lines for the edging later. I stitched the basic lines of the pattern. The lines are straight and there is lots of free space. The paper starts to fall off by the time the stitching is done. This may not work for a complex design the tissue paper can break up and start to fall apart too soon. once the stitching is done. Stretch the cloth and move it around to loosen the paper and pick out what doesn't fall out with a pair of tweezers.

Removing Tissue Paper

After the paper was removed I added the rest of the detail and filled in the circles.

Adding whipped stitches and details

I wanted the piece to be covered on the back. I basted the front piece to the backing fabric before doing the edge. For the edging I did a row of blanket stitch through both pieces of fabric. Then carefully cut out the bookmark around the blanket stitch.

Blanket Stitch Edging

Bookmark Plaid Backing

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