In this tutorial we are going to be transferring images into fabric using gel mediums. You can see the use of this method on my collage tutorial here.
Things you will need:
1. Golden medium heavy gel
2. Some type of fabric
3. An image to be transferred
For this particular tutorial I am using heavy gel matte, but you can use regular gel and soft gel as well. Similarly, you don’t have to use matte. Gloss will work the same way, but it will give you a glossy finish. As far as images go, I found it best to use an inkjet printout. Do experiment with other images such as magazine cut outs, brochures, postcards etc. I tried all of them, and to me inkjet printouts work the best.
Now for the fabric, I am using old cotton sheets. Begin by applying the gel onto the image. The easiest way to do this is to use your finger. Make sure you cover the whole surface. Don’t let it sit too long or it will dry and won’t transfer.
When you done, turn the image over and place it with the side that has the gel on it down onto the fabric. Take your hard roller and start rolling. Make sure to roll long enough for the whole surface to adhere to the fabric.
Let it sit for while. I let it sit long enough for me to make myself a cup of tea with honey and lemon. Now, peel off a corner and if most of the colors transferred, peel off the whole thing. There is always going to be some ink still left on the paper. Don’t worry about it.
As you can see, there is still some white paper left on the transferred image. What you want to do is get a wet paper towel and slightly dab the white spots.
Rub the wet spots with your finger. Do not apply too much pressure or you will rub off the actual image. Do it until there is no more white left. The second picture below show half of the image rubbed off and half with paper still left on it.
Finish the cleaning up the whole image and then apply the same gel that you used in the beginning. This time, don’t put too much. Just enough to seal the image. Let it dry.
You’re done with transferring images. You can use this techniques on various surfaces such as fabric, wood, cardboard and more. If you’re going for a worn out look, just rub off more of the image. Don’t worry if you don’t achieve the desired results on your first try. You have to get used to the gels and get the feel of it. After that it’s a snap. I’ve ruined a quite a few images before I got the hang of. Different surfaces yield different results. Also, before printing out the image, make sure you bring up the contrast in your editing program. (I will do a tutorial on that as well). Hope you have fun with this. If you have any questions, suggestions, feedback, leave a comment.