Evolon and Transfer Artist Paper

I’ve had a swatch of Evolon laying on my worktable for months, but hadn’t worked up the courage to do anything with it. Evolon is a microfiber fabric made by the company that makes Lutradur. Like Lutradur, it has a lot of industrial and practical uses, but artists and crafters have seized on both of these products to use for our own nefarious purposes. Evolon isn’t readily available in the US yet. I found one online source, Meinke Toy, but alas, the owner is giving up the business. Hopefully she’ll decide to find a buyer rather than completely close the store down. As she describes it, “Evolon is a nonwoven microfiber material made of nylon and polyester. You can paint, dye, print and heat distress Evolon. It will not fray when cut with a scissors and can also be cut using a soldering iron. It excels as a base for stitch, by hand or machine and works well layered with sheer elements above it.” It comes in Soft, which feels a bit like chamois, and Regular, which feels like a leather-like paper. I love the feeling of both of them.

Anyway, finally having a free minute to do a small project, I decided to try out the Evolon. I printed one of my favorite photographs of a hovering hummingbird onto Transfer Artist Paper (TAP), my favorite heat transfer paper. This is the photo:

Hummingbird hovering

Whenever I print on TAP I make sure to fill up the whole page so I don’t waste any of it (it’s not cheap), so I added a row of one of my new kaleidoscopes, which I made from my photo of a black and white feather. After I kaleidoscoped the image using Kaleider, I played with the colors for a psychedelic effect. This is a single tile of the kaleidoscope:

Feathers wild kaleidoscope

It’s best to use TAP soon after printing it — if you can’t, put it back into the sealable plastic bag that it comes in. I headed right down to my studio and ironed the hummingbird onto the Evolon. I set the iron for the polyester setting, but didn’t hold it on the surface for too long. The transfer worked great, going on really smoothly except for a few bits here and there, which added an uneven effect that I like. Then I cut up pieces of the kaleidoscope and ironed it around the edges as a frame. I ironed the Evolon to a piece of stabilizer for a backing, and sewed around the edges. Finally, I stitched on a hen’s feather. This is the piece:

Evolon Hummingbird HoveringNot sure yet how I’m going to mount or hang it. I’m just enjoying having it here to look at and feel. Really love the smooth, leather-like texture of the Evolon.

I know I didn’t take full advantage of Evolon’s special properties, I just wanted to see how it took the TAP. Next experiment, I’ll coat it with Digital Ground or inkAid and print directly onto it. Now, that’s REALLY my idea of fun!

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