The day started out this morning all misty and mysterious, raining a little, and very foggy.
About noon a front cracked through like a whip, and blew the fog and clouds away, leaving a sharp, bright sparkling afternoon. Gusty wind has been whisking around the house all afternoon.
I was thinking about transfer paints and iron on things today cleaning stalls, and came up with a couple questions. The first was whether I could mix the transfer paints to make the palette for the TIF Challenge. The paints on the paper look different from the transfered colors, so there is a certain uncertainty involved. Then I wondered if t-shirt transfers worked the same way, sublimating ink onto the fabric, or if they used a different mechanism. And then I remembered two pages of transfers I'd made in a class years ago using a color copier. How did they work?
So I started with the TIF palette. I mixed up what I thought should be the colors I wanted and tried them out. I think I got pretty close, so I will be able to use the transfer paints and keep the TIF challenge in line with the media of the moment. The t-shirt transfers do not use the same mechanism to get the image onto the cloth. Transfer paints have to dry on the paper, and heat makes them sublimate (go directly from solid to gas) and the color-carrying gas is absorbed into the fabric.
The t-shirt prints are a thin layer of plastic that peels off backing paper when ironed onto the fabric - the color is carried on a separate layer and can be peeled off with a fingernail. Which could be an interesting exploration at some point - distressing the iron-ons - but isn't what I'm after. The transfers from the color copier work the same way as the t-shirt transfers, but the layer of plastic is thinner and the heat required to set it is higher.
Now I wonder if I had access to a dye-sublimation printer, if it would work directly on polyester fabric, or if images from it would iron onto the fabric better.
I wonder if you can paint transfer paint directly onto polyester and iron it in, so to speak.