We have covered the how-tos of printing textiles (with an iron on transfer or printable fabric-sheet in cotton or silk, including fabric-sheets that you make yourself and sources for materials). Now, what do you put on these rectangles? The answer is simple: absolutely anything you can think of that can be reproduced, can be printed on fabric. Whether you are making a simple T-shirt with an iron-on print of a photograph or an elaborate quilt using a scan of a detailed piece of textile or an intricate painting, the resulting product will be unique and memorable. When you are printing on fabric your imagination is your only limitation.
Pam Godderis Dangerfield is a Vancouver fabric artist, best known for her quilting and embroidery. She has just recently started incorporating her camera, scanner, computer and printer into her fabric art. She began with simple photographs and the only manipulation she felt sure of was flipping the item to get a mirror image -- now mere months later, she feels comfortable using Paint Shop Pro on her Macintosh computer to get all kinds of effects.
How Godderis creates her digital textiles
For the example pictured above, Pam took a live Acanthus bloom, laid it on the scanner, scanned it, opened up the image on the computer, flipped it, copied it and made smaller and larger blooms and played around until the composition was pleasing. She then printed it onto one 8-1/2" x 11" piece of transfer paper, and transferred the image by ironing it onto cotton. The print was quilted to make the lovely hanging shown on this page, which measures around 12 x 15. Here is a larger version.
Since then, Godderis has scanned in slides to make prints, then printed photographs of doors from around the world onto fabric, free motion machine embroidering them and combining them into a quilt. It has opened her eyes to all sorts of new possibilities for image-making and embellishment. She calls this piece "Portals."