Monday, June 27, 2011
The most interesting window curtains you'll ever see
After pinning up some painted lace "coral" and staring at the results for a while, I felt it needed some brighter colors and some lighter lace dripping off the bottom edge. So I went thrift-shopping and came home with an armload of polyester lace curtains, and got out the transfer paints the girls had given me Christmas before last, and which had been sitting unused and unloved during the months of depression.
These paints are a delight to use. First you squeeze out a few drops of different colors, moosh them around on a piece of paper, and let them dry. (You can also paint very delicate, precise designs if that's what you want; in this case I just wanted a general look of glowing colors.) Any kind of paper will do; I used the back sides of a first draft, because I have a lot of first and partial drafts lying around. That was plain old cheapest-available copy paper from the office supply store, and it worked fine.
Once the paint's dry, you can start having fun. Cover your ironing surface with newsprint, lay out your polyester fabric, put the painted paper color-side down, and start ironing color onto fabric. G&S Dye, the source for these particular paints, says you can expect to get two good transfers out of every painted page, but with lace you get a lot more; I painted four pages and used only one. The stuff has no detectable hand at all, which will be useful if I ever want to drape the lace gracefully.
The whole piece is under the sewing machine right now, where I'm tacking down the pinned-on laces as a subtle hint that I'd like them to stay right where they are during the next phases.
Thrift shops have a ton of polyester lace curtains; I didn't use a third of what I bought. One piece even has sea motifs - starfish and shells and whatnot - worked into the lace. I'm saving those for the next water-themed piece, which is clear in my mind but not yet so good in Poser Figure Artist.