I have spent a couple of days in the print room playing around with creating imagery for blankets for the homeless, now that my prints are complete I have started to use bondaweb to add fleece and wool to the backs of each print, a layered blanket effect for warmth. Another important quality I wanted to involve is waterproofing the fabric so I have started to try this.
I thought that it might be an interesting idea to use foil on top of a digital print to create a water resistant layer this works fairly well although I realised that when applying the foil using the heat press the heat creates ripples in the foil, this means there are gaps where the foil had not adhered to the fabric. After realising this I decided to iron on the foil instead which worked a lot better as the heat didn't directly affect the foil. It resists water to a point and it doesn't change the way that the fabric moves, just gives it a shiny and silky texture.
I have tried sticky back plastic to see how well this resists water, this works better as it completely covers the fabric and conceals the fabric so that the water can't seep through. I think that the only way this would work is if it was sewn into the edging as it doesn't really stick to the fabric properly, and the plastic changes the texture and movement of the fabric, it’s too shiny and in the wrong light the print beneath cannot be seen.
This is my favourite form of producing water resistance, the waterproofing spray, this does exactly what it says on the tin and the water just rolls right off. It’s inexpensive although the only issue is that you must reapply the spray every so often to top-up the effectiveness of the spray, which isn't practical for a blanket to be given to the homeless. If I had more time I am sure that I would be able to find a fabric that I could print onto that could be waterproofed although I am finding it difficult to combine all of these qualities with so little time. I am trying to focus more on the conceptual side with this project but I thought that it was worth exploring the idea of waterproofing.