Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Playing with Lutradur, Part 1

Have you heard of Lutradur yet? Pretty cool stuff. If I recall the story, it actually started out as roofing material but pretty soon some enterprising person decided to play around with it as textile art and an entire new industry was born. We probably pay more for it than roofers did, too, although it's surprisingly inexpensive. (Cheaper than fabric!)

Lutradur comes in two weights--one slightly heavier than the other, although (for comparison) both lighter than that really stiff interfacing you use for fabric bowls and the like. You can print on it, sew through it, glue it, use it with angelina fibers, paint it, dye it, melt it to make it "lace,"....the sky is the limit!

In January I was in Columbus, OH, and with a little free time on my hands I visited Quilt Trends quilt shop, which is heavy on art quilts and materials therein. Lots of embellishments, funky fabrics, and rolls of Lutradur. I was intrigued. Bought a yard or so of the roll, which gives me plenty to experiment with, and the book Fabulous Fabric Art with Lutradur, by Lesley Riley. A couple of weeks ago I downloaded a video on it, also by Lesley, from Quilting Arts Workshop. I couldn't wait to start playing! Decided today was the day--no sharp objects involved at this stage so my cold meds shouldn't be a problem.

To begin, I'm experimenting with photo printing. You can print photos directly on the Lutradur, but you get different effects if you use different "primers" as well.

I'm testing out three methods: one printed on plain Lutradur,

one with gesso applied,

the other with an acrylic matte gel.

I used a large foam brush to apply both--washing thoroughly in between, although I don't suppose there's a huge problem if a little of one gets mixed with the other. I'm not conversant with art materials so I don't really know.

You have to do this on plastic--laying cloth underneath would absorb the primer out of the Lutradur, making you have to use twice as much.

And now I have to let it dry for 24 hours before I can start printing, although I can at least do the plain Lutradur print tonight. I have to change my ink cartridge, though--and will probably go through another one in this experiment. My printer chews up ink cartridges like nobody's business!

I'll post the side-by-sides when I've printed the other two versions. I'll also post pics once I've done something with these experiments. This isn't a tutorial--I'd have to actually know what I'm doing for it to be a tutorial. It's just a "follow along as I play" kind of thing. So, more later~