Tools: Fabric Markers
June 11, 2012
On my post last week in which I recreated some posh designer baby blankets, I used fabric markers to stamp my fabric to match the inspiration images on the original blankets. I used both Bold and Thin Marvy Uchida Marker sets in Bright. I loved playing with these markers. I think they are great for marking kids' clothes (perfect for camp wardrobes), decorating t-shirts, fancying up dishtowels for hostess gifts or adding the final touch to your new curtains. I really loved stamping with them. The key is to test match the color to the fabric. Certain colors show up better on certain colors, textures and fabrics.
For example, the bright green really glowed on the white batiste, while the purple popped on the thick texture of the ivory Hero Cotton of my baby blankets (shown above, the apple is stamped in purple and then colored in yellow-green and purple). Not only were these markers great for coloring the stamp but also coloring in the stamp. To recreate my stamped images I recommend rubber stamps. I used both the rubber (apple) and silicone (they are sticky backed that you can apply to acrylic blocks to create your own stamps). The rubber back soaked up the ink and transferred it better than the silicone (birds and owl). Run your markers over the stamp and get the ink on all the raised bits of the stamp. Try to do it as quick as possible or just run over the stamp several times to make sure you get it all. Then line up your stamp and press firmly but don't rock or wiggle your stamp- this will create thicker lines that look like shadows. If you would like your lines thicker or darker, take your thin markers and go over the stamped image or use the bold markers to color your stamped image. I tried tracing mine with a black sharpie marker and that worked for some images but not all- test first.
To create my apples, I used the bold markers to color the stamp and then colored the apple in with the bold and traced the outline with the thin fabric markers and outlined with a black sharpie. The blue apple is stamped in blue and then colored in blue and the leaf is in green. The yellow green apple is stamped in green and colored in yellow-green. My rose colored birds were created by coloring my silicone stamp with the bright red and then tracing and coloring it with the thin bright red fabric marker. I traced one with the black but the tip was too wide to really do the outline justice. I also tried one bird in just the black sharpie but it did not transfer very well. The lightest bird is just the stamping without tracing and coloring. It pops more on the gauze blanket.
My second sample is another silicone stamp (owl) in which I tried to determine which color showed up best on the natural colored linen of my test fabric. The purple was the winner with blue in second, then green and yellow (of course) last. You can see how I tried to improve the yellow with some black but again I needed a thinner tip for the black, next time I will use the Marvy Uchida Thin Black Tips but I didn't consider a black outline when planning this project The yellow really stands out when I just drew with it alone- no stamping, just free drawing (Sun). At the bottom you can see how each marker performs and its thickness. The thin tips are at the top and the bold tips are below. Each marker was made by drawing a line and then going over it twice (the colors are from left to right: red, yellow, blue, yellow-green, purple and green). The thin tips are really the perfect size for tracing or outline work (stencils and monograms) and the bold are just right for coloring and stamping.
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