Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stylish Sunday

Here we are with another fun Sunday experiment.  Today, I played with Tyvek.  Tyvek is a plastic fabric that is pretty durable and is used for everything from protective clothing to insulation.  You’ve seen it in those big envelopes the US Post Office sells (probably Post Offices around the world, too).  Any time I receive items in a Tyvek envelope, I put it away for later.


I like to paint it with Lumiere paints.  They have a shine to them that is emphasized when you apply heat.  Also, you do want to use a paint that is non-toxic when heated.  Because heat is what makes Tyvek so much fun. 


I cut that painted piece into strips and rolled them on a wooden skewer.  After wrapping and tying with a silver metallic thread, I hit it with a heat gun.


And got these!  See how the gold in the paint pooled together and got all shiny?  The layers all melt together and the edges curl and twist, so each bead is unique.


To try a different approach, I layered a piece of Tyvek with a piece of fabric and stitched this shape.  By filling the shapes with stitches, I hope to get some interested texture.


I applied heat to the Tyvek side.  You can see where the Tyvek curled up at the edges and melted between the stitches.


Here is how it looked from the right side.  One thing I’ve noticed is that Tyvek tends to curl toward your heat source.  Something to remember if you’re looking for a specific result.


I cut some leaf shapes and slashed toward the center before stitching them down to the background (forgot to take a picture of that.  Sorry!) before applying the heat gun again.


When I put all the elements together, this is the end result.  It’s very organic and truly unique!  It’s always interesting to see how the Tyvek reacts.  I’ve used an iron (just hover, don’t actually touch the material) and sometimes you get bubble like structures.  Sometimes you can control the reaction with stitching or slashing, but mostly each attempt is a surprise.

Today was a good day . . . I got to make a mess with paints, and then play with fire!  Er, well, I guess a heat gun doesn’t count, does it?  But I did get some free motion stitching in, too, so lots of fun was had by all!  Um, just me, that is!

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