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Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Befriending the Beast

I finally got around to using my new (actually pre-owned) textile dryer last week. This was a major achievement as it was delivered to me without anybody having demonstrated its use to me. When I studied textile design at Sheridan College (Canada), our school studio had a heat-box which was like a giant oven for curing the fabrics. So there was some initial apprehension and procrastination before I decided that my first fabric order of 10 metres (for somebody else) was the right time to take the leap and get over my fear of the unknown beast. I certainly didn't want to be ironing 10 metres by hand in order to heat-set the inks although have done so in the past.

Now I love it and wonder how I could have ever lived without it!? I was smart enough not to feed the fabric through without performing the necessary technical tests and you can see by the colour of the two samples below that you can't trust the manufacturers' guidelines. The swatch on the left is the same white linen but came out quite scorched, even though the colour is quite nice. Once I worked out the correct temperature and belt speed, the successful white fabric swatch was immediately washed in boiling hot water and beaten around. It was very professional; much like those machines you see at Ikea beating the chairs to death. I was so pleased that it remained totally colour-fast.

I will be listing this pineapple fabric and others on our new on-line shopping site soon. There will be a category of natural printed fabrics and another for organic fabrics.

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