Working with textiles

Drawing, image transfers and marbling onto textiles

Pupils can draw directly on to material using fabric pastels or felt pens. Instructions for their use and setting are clearly explained on the packaging and although inexpensive it helps if pupils design on paper first and then trace their design onto fabric. If an observational drawing has been made of a leaf for example, tracing the drawing onto fabric will enable the pupils to create a repeat pattern using the same image.

Pupils can create their own transfers by using fabric wax crayons. The design must be drawn onto paper using the crayons – press on to apply a lot of wax. Turn the finished design face downwards onto the plain coloured fabric and iron onto the reverse side of the paper pressing down firmly for about thirty seconds until the design has been transferred onto the fabric. An adult must use the iron which should be on a hot setting. Before removing the paper, carefully lift a corner of the drawn design to check the colour strength of the transfer. If it is not bright enough then iron for a few seconds more until it has transferred to your satisfaction.

Remember! Any lettering on the design must be in reverse on the paper transfer to appear the right way round when ironed onto the fabric.

To transfer a marbled effect onto fabric, purchase textile marbling inks and marbling medium. The marbling medium is mixed with water forming a gel similar to wall paper paste. The medium must be placed in the bottom of a shallow tray and the marbling inks dripped onto its surface. A pattern can be created in the inks using a paintbrush, afro comb or feather to drag the inks and then the fabric should be laid onto the surface of the gel, gently pressed and when removed the marbled pattern will have transferred onto the fabric.