Sci-Art: Printing Final Designs

I have been considering how my microscopy designs will be printed onto different fabrics for the exhibition. Most of my designs will be digitally printed however a few of the fabrics I looked at under the microscope will have to be printed using sublimation printing using disperse dyes onto synthetic fabric.

Sourced From: Own Archive, image of melted synthetic fabric onto paper

I tested this today however the synthetic interfacing fabric I used to print my design onto melted under the heat press, it must have been made entirely of bonded plastic fibres. Rather than using this fabric I found another synthetic interfacing fabric with the same bonded structure.

Sourced From: Own Archive, image of synthetic fabric print

It is not made up of the same synthetic fibres but has the same fabric structure, so under the microscope it will look very similar. I decided to use this fabric to print onto because it's the closest I can get to the fabric I chose to look at.

Sourced From: Own Archive, image of print onto leather

Whilst looking at these fabrics I also tested the theory that leather and suede would work with sublimation printing using disperse dyes. This actually worked really well for the leather and doesn't disrupt the surface texture too much, I think that I will move forwards with this way of printing leather in the future and test some more samples in this way.

Sourced From: Own Archive, image of printed suede

The suede didn't work as successfully, I was advised that digitally printing leather would not work well as the fibres move beneath the printer during the printing process. However, with sublimation printing it works very faintly, the longer the design is under the heat press the darker the print but I don't want to damage the suede, perhaps this will be a better way of printing my design into real suede rather than using a faux suede substitute.


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© Abigail Knott 2018