I arranged a Devore tutorial with Gwyneth for Tuesday 18th. This is the day I have full access to all the textile materials and space I need. Arriving at 9 am, I purchased some velvet that morning from the textiles department to print on and got to work setting up my desk in which I was going to print on. This is done by ironing a sheet of cotton to the pre- gummed table, ensuring there are no creases and the material is smooth. Once this was completed I then had to pin the velvet fabric I was going to print on onto this cloth. This ensures that prevention of the velvet fabric moving when I print my design is certain.
In the meantime Gwyneth was taking the last steps in preparing my screen:
These next two quotations have been extracted from http://www.instructables.com/id/Photo-emulsion-Screen-Printing/ and have also been documented in my Bibliography.
‘After stretching fine-mesh cloth over a wooden frame, you spread a thin layer of photosensitive emulsion on the screen and let it dry. You then take a black image on transparent or translucent surface, place it against the screen, and then expose the screen to light. The light causes the emulsion to harden and bind to the fabric. Where the light strikes the screen, the emulsion will bind, making a solid layer.”
Once my screen was completed, I was instructed to wash off the top layer of the screen using the pressure of the water and a sponge.
“Where the light is blocked (where your black image is placed) the emulsion remains water-soluble. After exposing the screen, you spray down the screen with water, washing off the emulsion only where your image was placed; this clear area is where ink will be pressed through the screen when you print”
Now it is clear, this enables a clear print of my patterns. The image below document the light coming through the screen:
Once my screen was thoroughly clean, I placed it in the drying machine and set it on ‘HI’ power. I placed it in the middle of the machine as this is the best place to put the screen if you want it dried quickly. I set a timer for 10 minutes as this is how long it took:
After applying gum strip to the border of the screen- It was time to start printing. Beforehand tho Gwyneth had to warn me that the chemical Devore contains is hazardous and needs to be handled with care due to the fact it can irritate the skin and eyes- consequently I wore a mask, goggles and gloves.
I laid my screen down onto the pinned fabric, spread the ink onto the inside of the screen and using a squeegee, pulling down the devore over the patterns it is pasted through the screen and onto the cloth creating the design. I then moved the screen to the second half of my fabric and repeated this, then washed the remaining devore off the screen and squeegee and tidied up my space.
Once completed I had to leave the fabric over night on the table to dry- if I moved it whilst it was still wet- the devore may move and eat away fabrics where I do not want it to.
9 am Wednesday morning I came in to collect my work. Gwyneth again reminded me that this stage of Devore can too be potentially dangerous due to the fact loose fibres that the Devore has eaten away- if inhaled can cause serious respiratory problems. To avoid this I was given a mask to wear over my mouth and nose.
The next step was to iron the material until the patterns printed turned a brown colour, but not too long otherwise I would scorch the fabric! The final process I had to undertake was washing away the chemicals in a tub of water to reveal the pattern by vigorously rubbing the material together, soon as the fibres become loose, I was able to see the transparency in the fabric where printed. I had to be careful making sure It was fully submerged in the water to ensure I didn’t inhale any of the fibres. I then let it dry.
Here are images of the final sample:
To conclude, although I carried out all the steps perfectly- the outcome isn’t what I expected. I feel I was too concerned and excited about the context and meaning of the process rather than thinking about what the actual outcome would look like. The prints I feel look blotchy next to the velvet and does not look as delicate and intricate as I wanted them too. I feel screen printing with inks on a more plain fabric will do the job better, and this way I can incorporate colour back into the garment too. Unfortunately, I’m going to discard this sample due to this fact.