Friday, May 3, 2013

Embellishing With Foil

Hello, I am finally back and getting a chance to blog. Feels so good to return to the studio if only for  a few hours. Yesterday, I was experimenting with various methods of foiling. What a blast! I had such a great time and learned so much. Thought I would share my findings with you. So, here goes!Essentially, foiling requires a bonding agent to adhere the foil to the fabric. There are four main types of bonding agents: 1)Liquid Adhesives such as Jones Tones Foil Glue, Foil Transfer Adhesive, Modge Podge or Gel Mediums 2) BoNash Bonding Agent 3) Fusibles such as Mistyfuse or Wonder Under and 4) Transfer Tape or Stitch Withchery. Also, foiling can be done with or without heat. The secret to foiling without heat is to let the adhesive get "tacky" to the touch. Foil can then be applied, shiny side up and burnished with a spoon.  The first photo shows a vine that has been foiled with Jones Tones Foil, burnished with a spoon, no heat required. I love this raised 3 dimensional effect. 
Jones Tones may also be used with heat. If applied and allowed to dry thoroughly, the foil can be adhered with an iron. as shown on the right. Here, a plastic snowflake ornament was used to make an impression on a blue foam moldable stamp, The glue was painted along the edges of the design and stamped onto fabric. Once dry, foil was applied with a medium/hot temperature setting and subsequently burnished with a spoon. This creates a more 2 dimensional effect. There is also a thicker paste called Foil Transfer Adhesive put out by Laura Murray which works quite well. When applied and allowed to dry thoroughly, it creates a soft elegant look.
This can be seen in the sample at left with the grapes on a vine. I love this soft, ethereal look. I also tried using the more readily available Modge Podge and Gel Medium. The directions said to allow them to dry but I was never able to get them to work in that manner. Instead, I repeated the experiment by lightly brushing on a coat of adhesive and ironing foil on immediately. This produced a more solid foiled look. The photo below shows Modge Podge. Where you see flowers outlined with Lumiere 3D black paint is where the initial experiment took place of allowing the glue to dry, however very little
 foil transferred. The large flower in the bottom corner was created by stencilling a light coat of Modge Podge and applying foil immediately with heat. This seems to provide a more even coverage. Though, I will say, a little goes a long way! The photo below shows the same experiment with Golden Clear Gloss Gel Medium. Glue was applied and foiled immediately with heat. The results are quite similar. this concludes my results with Liquid Adhesives. I will also mention that the Foil Transfer Adhesive had a quicker drying time of about 30 minutes.  
Each adhesive has it's pros and cons. The second bonding agent, BoNash was quick and easy to use. BoNash is a solid "grainy like" particle that may be sprinkled lightly over a stencil. Stencil is then removed and excess particles are cleared away before glue is activated with a hot iron. Once activate, apply foil, shiny side up and cover completely withh a pressing sheet. Iron and let cool before pulling foil away from fabric. This method transfers designs quite well as can be seen in the photo below with the butterfly. The third type of bonding agents  
includes fusibles. Choose your favorite fusible and cut out your shapes, place them on fabric, cover with foil, shiny side up. With a pressing sheet, iron on foil. In my mind, there are two main types of fusibles, Mistyfuse and Wonder Under. Mistyfuse has a looser web whereas Wonder Under is more of a solid sheet of glue consequently, Mistyfuse gives a more amorphous, organic feel whereas Wonder Under provides a more solid even coverage. Both work well for different applications.
Lastly, foil can be applies with Transfer Foil Tape by Jones Tones or Stitch Witchery. This method is great for achieving nice crisp lines on a design. Below is a photo of Stitch Witchery. You can see that there is more solid even coverage in some places and where the tape has stretched, the transfer becomes more weblike in appearance.
As I mentioned earlier, additional media such as 3 dimensional paints, acrylic textile paints, rhinestones or swarovski crystals, and mica or pearlescent powders provide interest to designs. When applying paint, remember to heat set with an iron. Bulky or 3 dimensional elements such as crystals should be added at the end. I would suggest using some form of craft glue or E 6000 to adhere embellishments. Foiling is a wonderful way to create eye pleasing designs but it is not wash fast. Jones Tones Foiling Glue is reported to have the best adhesive properties for washing. That being said, foil is heat sensitive. I recommend hand washing your foiled creations with cold water and woolite or placing them in the gentle cycle with cold water. Do NOT place items in the dryer; foil will melt. Also, NEVER, apply iron to a foiled surface; foil will come off leaving behind an adhesive residue and it will ruin your iron. Always use a pressing sheet with iron on a wool setting.
Some examples for foiling projects include wall hangings, doll clothes and scarves. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed embellishing with foil and I wish you much happiness and success in your creative journey. 

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