Nonwoven interfacing is a wonderful material for Gelli printing! It looks similar to dryer sheets, and its intended purpose is to add extra body to fabric. But it takes paint beautifully! And the heat-activated adhesive makes it so easy to incorporate printed pieces into your mixed media art.
The top piece in the next picture shows the adhesive (shiny) side. The piece underneath it is the 'right' side—the side we print on (non-shiny side). They're placed on a black and white image to show the beautiful translucent quality of this interfacing.
The samples here are all printed on Pellon® (808 Craft-Fuse®) — but any smooth nonwoven interfacing should work well. Nonwoven interfacing comes in a variety of weights. You can buy it by the yard then cut it into pieces ready for printing.
What are the advantages of printing on nonwoven interfacing, you may be wondering?
Well... the nonwoven fiber surface prints beautifully, it's super-easy to cut with scissors or a rotary cutter, the material is soft and easy to sew, doesn't fray, and adds strength when fused to paper — an especially good thing when adding stitching by hand or machine on paper. Also, it has a translucent quality making it wonderful for layering over previous prints, text or images! It's an excellent collage material for paper or fabric projects...and great for adding printed elements to painted works on canvas or board!
Begin by cutting your interfacing into pieces for printing. It makes things easy if you do this ahead of time, so you're ready for printing. I pre-cut the interfacing used in the video into 9"x12" pieces — perfect for printing on the large 12"x14" Gelli plate!
You'll also find that printing on interfacing calls for heavier application of paint on your Gelli plate.
Here are the steps for printing:
- Apply paint to the Gelli plate and roll out with a brayer.
- Make your marks in the wet paint.
- Place a piece of the fusible non-woven interfacing on the plate with the shiny side UP.
- Place a cover sheet over the interfacing and rub with your hands to transfer the paint.
- Remove the cover sheet, then pull your print!
- If there's enough paint remaining on the plate, pull a ghost print.
You can print on interfacing in layers, just as you do on paper. Use your favorite stencils, masks, combs and other texture tools. Or if you prefer, take a painterly approach.
Once you've created prints on fusible non-woven interfacing you have many options for using them. The prints are perfect for paper or fabric collage, so consider cutting them into pieces and fusing to other artworks. If you have a die-cutting machine...you might try cutting them into different shapes!
If you're looking for a good substrate to fuse your prints to... how about those papers you use to roll off paint from your brayer. They're perfect for collage! Cut up some interfacing prints and fuse some pieces right onto the painted papers for a quick and gratifying mixed media experience! Add stitching! Add doodling! Add embellishments! Fun!
To fuse the interfacing to paper or fabric, follow the manufacturer's directions. Place parchment paper on your ironing surface to protect it, then place the substrate and fusible pieces on it. Cover the whole thing with parchment paper to protect your iron. Press to fuse. Easy!
If your interfacing isn't fusible — no problem. After you make your prints you can easily iron a layer of fusible (such as Wunder-Under or Misty Fuse — or your favorite fusible webbing) to your interfacing prints and they're ready to fuse to another substrate. Or, simply use gel medium or your favorite collage adhesive.
Printing on non-woven interfacing is a process that can send you into a creative frenzy! So many possibilities!
FYI— Materials used in the video include the following:
- 12"x14" Gelli plate
- 4" Speedball soft rubber brayer
- Fusible Nonwoven Interfacing — Pellon® 808 Craft-Fuse®
- Liquitex Basics Acrylic paint
- Amsterdam Standard Series Acrylic paint
- Hand-cut masks from blank stencil material (blue plastic)
- Hand-cut masks cut from cardstock
- Commercial stencils
- Catalyst Wedge
- Colour Shaper
- Deli paper (used for cover sheets)