Evolon cuff bracelet. Part 1: The design

I’ve been itching to use Evolon® since I first heard of it years ago. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been easily available in the United States. So I jumped when I had the chance to participate in a challenge to create a project with it.

First, what in the world is Evolon? The manufacturer, Freudenberg Nonwovens, describes it as “a unique microfilament fabric combining very good textile and mechanical properties. Like traditional microfiber, it is soft, drapable and light, but it is also at the same time very strong.”

It comes in two weights: Regular and Soft. For the call-out I got a 20 by 36 inch sheet of the Regular. It feels divine, with a rich, soft suede-like texture. Like Lutradur, it doesn’t tear or fray, making it much easier to use for many art and craft projects than paper or woven fabric.

I wanted to make something that took advantage of the strengths of Evolon, and I love making jewelry with unusual surfaces, so I decided to try my hand at creating an Evolon cuff bracelet. I designed the cuff by making a blended digital collage with my photograph of a Julia Butterfly and my photos of the face of an old stopwatch and a fragment of an old metal measuring device. This is the butterfly image, which will be the focal point of the design, and below it are the two other images:

Julia butterfly on zinnia

Watch and measure digital collageI started out by opening a 3 by 8 inch blank canvas on Photoshop Elements. I dragged the butterfly image onto the blank canvas and resized it to show most of the wings. I then dragged the other two photos onto the canvas and adjusted their placement and opacity. You can see the separate layers on the palette at the bottom right of this screenshot.

design with layersI erased some portions of the watch layer, including the hands, because I thought they interfered with the design. The layer now looks like this:

Screen shot stop watchHere’s the layer of the fragment of the old measuring device. It’s a very small portion of the collage, but I liked the symmetry of the numerals with the numbers on the watch.

Screen shot digital collageI’m printing a letter-sized sheet of Evolon, so I opened a new blank canvas and placed the finished collage onto it. I also duplicated and flipped the collage so I could make two cuffs, and added a smaller version at the bottom to fill the sheet.

Julia butterfly cuff sheet

In my next blog post I’ll tell you about printing, assembling, and sewing the bracelet.

Oh, okay – George thinks I shouldn’t make you wait to see the finished cuff bracelet, so here it is!

Evolon cuff bracelet

Have you ever heard of Evolon? Have you ever used it? I’d love to hear what you’re doing with it, if so. If you’re in the US, I believe the only place to buy it without paying international shipping charges is through Meinke Toy’s website. They also sell Lutradur and other wonderful fiber art supplies, and are very helpful.

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Inkjet Fabric Printing – step by step instructional ebook

I just finished my very first ebook, on my most favorite subject: inkjet printing on fabric.  After writing an extensive booklet for the workshops I’ve been teaching, I decided to put it into ebook form so people who can’t come to my workshops could get the same information.

Inkjet fabric printing ebook

I take you through the entire process to quickly and successfully begin printing fabric on your inkjet printer. You will learn about types of inks, differences between treating fabric yourself or printing on pre-treated fabric, how to prepare fabric for printing, printing the fabric, post-printing treatments, and more.

The information and tips I’ve learned over years of printing on fabric will save you hours of time and much wasted ink and fabric. I have included many illustrations, questions and answers, and trouble-shooting tips.

Illustration: peeling off backing

Illustration: peeling off backing

There’s even a gallery of my original fabric creations to spark your imagination and creativity.

Gallery: butterfly art hanging

Gallery: butterfly art hanging

There are many books on the market about printing on fabric, but because the technology is moving so quickly, a lot of them are outdated. My guide is up to date, and I will revise it as often as needed to reflect changes in the field of inkjet fabric printing. Also, most of the books give general information that might not apply to your personal printer/ink setup. I tell you how to figure out what kind of inks your printer uses, and I can also answer by email personalized questions about your setup, or other problems you run in to when you print fabric. I also discuss the pretreated fabrics that are available commercially, and share the results of my extensive experimentation with printing using the different inks.  In the second edition of the ebook, now available, I added information about using two great products with fabric, inkAID and Golden Paints Digital Grounds (both coatings that make any surface inkjet printable.)  I’ve written a lot in this blog about Digital Grounds, and I wanted to expand the book to include these coatings – most appropriate for art fabric uses.  I also deemphasized the use of Bubble Jet Set 2000, a liquid solution that is the most common product used by people who want to treat fabric themselves for inkjet printing.  BJS contains formaldehyde, and I know a lot of people are concerned about any potential danger.  If you’re interested in the subject, the manufacturer addresses the issue in an article (read it by clicking here).

My ebook is in the format of a PDF file, which you can open and print using Adobe Reader.  I’m offering it through my etsy shop or lulu.com for $10.  Click here for the link to my ebooks section on etsy. If they are sold out and you would like one, please let me know and I will post more copies.  Or click here to see a preview and get it through my lulu shop.