Thursday, 12 August 2010


And that was only the beginning!

Continuing with my research into creating large disk hangings, I have since been delighted with the print quality received from The Print Bureau

I had designs printed on the Mimake printer at college and they were not too bad considering there was a large amount of flat black in the images.  I washed these in my studio, being nervous of throwing them into the washing machine, as is done here.  On pressing them, I was horrified to find that a small 26 inch disk design was 26 inches on the weft but only 22 inches on the warp, meaning that in 26 inches, there was a 4 inch shrinkage.  Thus I find myself with oval images.

Creating a tunnel for the hoop around the disks was so difficult.  I managed to break the industrial over locking sewing machine at college.  Ooops!  One problem with the industrial machines is that they are designed to be used in manufacturing workshops and so are fast.  There is no means to stitch slowly so practicing slowly was not an option.  Mr. Weeks serviced my Bernina in 24 hrs, a special favour and Mrs. Weeks, an experienced sewing lady, showed me how to use my own over locker.  So much more controllable.  After considerable practicing, and working very slowly, I eventually managed to sew a tunnel around the disk.  What I hadn't realised was that it had suffered for enormous shrinkage in the warp only.  This meant that the hoop was extremely tight in the warp and loose on the weft.  So very frustrating. 

In my screen printed versions, I may be able to overcome this problem by washing the silk first.  The fabric goes through a finishing process when it is commercially printed or created.  During washing and drying, the fabric shrinks.  It then moves through a machine and the pins on either side grip the fabric and restretch it to the size it should be.  (Thus the pinholes down the sides of furnishing fabric).  Of course, once reprinted and washed, or just washed, it suffers shrinkage again.

'Journey to the Moon'

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