Printing and Stenciling on Felt Part 1

I’m sorry for the duplicate post. I accidentally hit publish while creating it.  So, now that I have your attention…

I am taking Ruth’s Printing, Stenciling with Thickened Dyes class, so I’ve been practicing.

I made nine different colors using acid dyes and two thicknesses.  I have several stencils laying around so I couldn’t wait to get started.  The feather was the most open so I started with that using three different colors with different thicknesses and brushes.

I used commercial prefelt for the feathers.

The midnight blue feather was created with a thicker dye mix and stencil brush.  But I found the brush kept pulling up the fibers.  So, on the yellow I used a thinner dye, with a foam brush, but I didn’t get as much definition and more running.  For the red, I used an old stiff paint brush with a thicker dye and I got a little better definition.

Now I realize this is all new and practice will help me learn to manage the process better.

I tried a plastic stamp with a thin silver and thick purple on prefelt.  But neither stamped well.  I think  the surface of the stamp was too smooth.

Then I tried a butterfly stencil (which was too detailed) with commercial felt.  The gold ochre was done with a thick dye and thin brush.  While wet it wasn’t too blurred.  However, after setting the dye and drying it was blurrier. This was while it was still wet.

The  teal butterfly was done with a brush, again on the commercial felt.  Same result after drying. Plus the dye and felt were very hard.  I had thought I’d do some stitching, but I think it’s too stiff.

Then I tried a Stencilgirl stencil I had purchased for the Paper Lamination Class.  I decided to use two separate colors on prefelt.

I will felt all the prefelt ones to see the results and how it changes, if it does.  I used a second piece of prefelt to tie the feathers together in one piece.

Next I’ll try making my own stencils and stamps and continue to play with different tools and dyes.

Hopefully, I won’t give you an early preview next week.

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17 Responses to Printing and Stenciling on Felt Part 1

  1. MCH says:

    Interesting to hear your comments about the printing and using stencils. I’ve not had much success when I tried, it was a bit like the story of Goldilocks and the 3 bear and the porridge. This dye is to thick and the felt is not smooth enough. This dye is too thin, and my 3rd try well so far Ive not got the right felt texture or the right consistency of dye, that it’s not too thick or thin.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      I’m sure it takes practice like anything else. The good news is you can always over print or overdye or just embellish in a number of ways. Don’t give up! Keep playing!

  2. Lyn says:

    Lots of lovely experimentation Marilyn! I hope the feathers and red flowers look good after felting – perhaps just a little gentle rubbing?

    MCH’s comment made me giggle, but it certainly sums up the frustrations that can be experienced during experimentation.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Lyn! Yes, MCHs comments were right on. I really am curious to final felting results. I’ll be working on that soon.

  3. Mary Stori says:

    After having mixed success stenciling on felted materials, I came up with a different approach. I position a silk screen over the stencil and carefully scrape the thickened dye through the screen, using an old credit card or hotel room key. This allows more pressure to be applied to obtain a better print while keeping the edges of the stencil pressed down onto the surface for tidier outlines. This eliminates some of the issues you discussed, but obviously the porous surface of felt will always somewhat affect the quality of the print.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks for the tip Mary! I will try that. I do have a couple of screen stencils like the flower one. I would think stenciling on finished felt may be easier or maybe not. I’ll see eventually.

  4. Coincidentally, I have also been working with stencils–for the first time. But I am stenciling with acrylic paints on flat cotton cloth, and that is challenge enough! As Mary said, keeping the stencil edges pressed down can be challenging, depending on the stencil, of course.
    Your feather is my favorite so far. Watching your progress with much interest!

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Cathy! I will try acrylics on the felt at some point as well. I’ve noticed it takes patience when working with the stencils. I have to keep reminding myself to take my time. 😉

  5. Laura Basanta says:

    How are you fixing the dye after printing? What are you using for thickener, sodium alginate? What kind of dyes?

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks for your interest Laura. I did mention I used acid dyes. However, I’m bound to not disclose class process details. I’m sure the class will be offered again this spring. We will announce details here on the blog when it will be offered again.

  6. ruthlane says:

    Great job Marilyn!

  7. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Thanks Ruth!

  8. zedster66 says:

    They all look great to me, Marilyn 🙂 It sounds a lot like experimenting with fibres, you might not get the result you want while experimenting, but you learn something for future use anyway! Have you tried stencil card for cutting your own stencils? I haven’t tried it on for stenciling on felt, but the card has linseed oil which helps it lie flat and stops bleeding. The smell takes some getting used to!

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Zed! I’m sure they will change after Felting. But you know me I love to experiment. I don’t have stencil card, but have Mylar and a couple other options I’ll try. I think the smell of the stencil card may be off putting. :-0. But it’s good to know there’s another option.

    • zedster66 says:

      It doesn’t smell horrible, but it’s quite strong. I think it’s linseed oil, and I used to use it a lot in a small room painting with oils years ago, so probably have a bit of an aversion to it! (I can’t eat flax seeds, they remind me of paint!). But, like most things, you get used to the smell and don’t notice it after a while 🙂

  9. I think you did great Marilyn. I have never been any good with stencils. They always bleed.

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