In the US, they do not have access to the amazing coloured Lutradur we have, so many of the techniques you read about in books and magazines requires you to paint your white lutradur first. This is something that gives you the flexibility to create whatever colours you want for your projects. You can paint the coloured Lutradur too. In both cases, it is very very easy.
The next few photos show me painting about a metre of the heavy weight.
I like to use Dye Na Flow to add colour. Dye Na Flow is a semi transparent paint, so you can still see the texture of the fibre behind it, you get blends of your different colours in a watercolour, washed sort of finish and the paint does not act as a significant resist to heat sculpting or distorting.
I dilute the paint with water to make it thinner and lighter. Experiment to get the intensity of hue you are after. Remember paints go on every surface. You don’t need to target specific paints to a particular fibre. Dye Na Flow is a fabric paint, which means that it has a bonding agent of sorts that will lock onto the fibre (not in like dyes) and be colourfast once dry and cured. Heat setting with an iron or heat gun will escalate the curing process.
Then it really is a matter of slapping the paint on to saturate through the Lutradur. I always add three colours to pretty much everything I do. In this case I have used Turquoise, Teal and Purple. When they blend in you get all sorts of blues with hints of green and violet. Every piece is different.
fill the gaps with the other paints, painting over air bubbles – unless you want a more organic look – then leave the air bubbles alone. Lutradur is not woven, so it has layers and there are lots of places the air can get trapped in the heavier weight fabrics. I usually flip it over to check the coverage.
Then hang it on the line or leave it flat to dry. If you have read this far, I probably should have mentioned at the beginning that it is best to line your table with news paper or plastic and to paint out on the grass. Paint will dry on your floors or concrete and be permanent – yes even fabric paint. And that sun thing – it escalates the drying process so take care of how far you a ‘slapping’ the paint and rinse down any spills before they dry.
This painted Lutradur is for my “I Dream of the Sea” classes at the Brisbane Show. It is the backdrop of the four elements in the sample, one of which is below. I have shown you this photo before, so forgive the repetition if you have seen it.
Also in this sample is plain light weight Lutrdur with Transfer Artist Paper transfers and Light weight light Blue Lutradur with Angelina ironed to it and terribly distressed with the heat gun. This last one is my favourite finish. The heavy painted Lutradur does not distress with out a lot of heat. Putting paint over it also builds up the layers and acts as a resist. The thicker the paint the greater the resist. It takes a bit of persistence to distort this, and maybe you don’t want to. Fire works but can be a bit dramatic. A very hot heat gun will also work. An iron will just sort out creases.
As always, experiment and play.