Recently, I’ve been telling people my goal in life is to find everything I own. Case in point: while I was looking for something else in my studio last week I ran across something I forgot I had: a package of Lutradur sheets. When I think of the times I could have used those in my artwork over the past year or so . . . well, better not to think about it. Better just to use these spunbonded fibers now that I know I have them.
|Art Journal cover made with Lutradur, by Wendy Cotterill.|
If you’re not familiar with Lutradur, you are missing out on a fun and practical art supply with numerous uses in mixed-media art, particularly book making and art journaling.
Lutradur is a spunbonded fiber, meaning it has no weave: you can cut it and it won’t unravel. It’s lightweight, yet sturdy–perfect for art journal pages and book covers. It takes paint, dye, and ink beautifully; you can write on it; you can print or transfer images onto it; and–if you work in a well-ventilated area or wear a respirator–you can burn it with a heat tool to create ragged edges and interesting holes.
One of the best books on the subject of creating art with these materials is Lutradur and the New Fibers: Creating Mixed-Media Art with Spunbonded Materials by artist Wendy Cotterill. In her book, Wendy walks you step-by-step through the different techniques for working with spunbonded textiles. This project for a padded art journal cover is an example of the fun you can have with Lutradur.
Padded Art Journal cover
Note: For this project a floral image was used, but any bold image will work well.
- Laser toner black-and-white photocopy of a bold image
- Navy blue transfer dye
- Lutradur, large enough to cover the front of your journal
- Embroidery hoop
- Soldering iron
- Heat gun
- Chipboard, same size as journal cover
- Fabric, in a contrasting color
- Glue or a needle and thread
- Embroidery thread and needle (optional)
1. Paint the transfer dye over the laser photocopied image and allow to dry.
2. Place the painted copy face down onto the Lutradur and, with a hot iron, transfer the image onto the Lutradur, keeping the iron moving all the time (approximately 25 seconds).
3. Place the dyed Lutradur into an embroidery hoop and partially cut around some of the leaves/petals with a soldering iron.
4. With the Lutradur still in the hoop, apply gentle heat from the heat gun to make the cut sections curl slightly. Add hand stitching if desired.
5. Cover the chipboard with the contrasting fabric, either gluing or stitching it in place. Then cover the fabric with the dyed and cut Lutradur and affix the Lutradur in the same manner.
6. Attach the the covered board to the front of your journal.
This is just one of the many projects and techniques to choose from in Lutradur and the New Fibers. For a limited time, it’s part of the Ultimate Mixed Media Collection of products that will inspire innovative art at a great price.
P.S. Have you used Lutradur or another spunbonded textile? What do you like or dislike. Any tips? Tell me about it in the space below.