Printing With Wallpaper

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In my quest to use up the large stock of materials I have at home I have spent most of today – since early morning – printing lots of large pieces of fabric. I have used simple, inexpensive materials to produce a big batch of useable prints, which I hope to make good use of in a variety of projects.

For this technique I used several patterns of vinyl wallpaper – the type that was popular in the seventies under what was the brand name Vymura. I think you can still buy similar products now, my label says ‘luxury textured vinyl’ – you just need to be sure that the wallpaper has a high relief design, almost ‘foamy’.

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For this project I have used cheap, low quality paints – the garish colours often found in The Works or Hobbycraft. It needs to be inexpensive paint, in large bottles, as you require a large amount for this technique and you need to be able to splosh the paint around with gay abandon! I found it easy to cut off a large chunk of paper from the roll, lay it on the table and then squirt the paint directly on top. I then used rollers to spread it around the paper – work on an old fabric cloth and then you can clean the roller in between each colour spread (if you want to) directly on to the table next to you.

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After applying the paint, lay your fabric directly on top, applying pressure with your hands or the roller if you prefer. I used a white polycotton for most of my first prints, but then followed up with a piece of nylon curtain net for the second take. I ran between the table and the line each time, pegging up for the pieces to dry quickly in the wind.

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All the pieces of fabric today were unplanned bar one – which after hanging on the line looked a little bit like a landscape. So on that one I printed some wallpaper ‘flowers’ and it looks as though it might have a bit of potential. The remainder are all patterns, in mixed colours, some overprinted, others just as they peeled off the original wallpaper.

 

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So here is the spread of the polycotton prints, all ironed and ready to use. Of course, these cannot be washed! They are for decorative purposes only – useful for backgrounds, book pages and covers.

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And here are the nylon net versions. I am really excited about using these for layering, as the colours are really murky and gentle but the pattern stills shows through. Below are the selection and underneath a close up of a piece laid on a white fabric so you can see the potential of using them as a background.

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And as a bonus I have finished the morning with a nice batch of coloured papers!

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