Books on Textile Printing

Textile printing is defined as the process of applying colour to fabric in definite patterns and designs, whereas in dyeing, the whole fabric is uniformly coloured with one colour. While related to dyeing, there are many differences, as are very well portrayed in the following website: https://textilestudycenter.com/textile-printing/.

The colour bonds with the fibre, so it resists washing and friction and retains the colour, design and pattern. Some of the printing techniques on textiles include:

Direct Printing, using hand blocks (wood blocks/ engraved plates/ silkscreen) or machine rollers and dyes and mordants to fix colour on the cloth;

Resist Techniques, using wax or other resistant material to prevent uptake of the dye by specific areas of the material (eg: Batik, shibori and tie-dyeing);

Discharge Techniques, using bleaching agents to remove colour from previously dyed fabric; and

Special Techniques like Flock, Dyed or Burnt Out Styles; Blotching; Air Brushing; and Photo Transfers.

The following books are all concerned with printing and painting fabrics and creating surface designs on cloth, rather than dyeing fabric, which I will cover in a separate post.

Hand-Printed Fabrics by KG Herder 1968

This simple little booklet is still worthy of inclusion, despite its age, because of its very simplicity and clear easy instructions, as well as its quaint designs! It mainly covers stencilling on fabric and block printing with potato stamps and linoleum blocks and suggests a variety of projects from checked aprons and tablecloths to placemats, cushion covers, oven gloves, teacosies and Christmas stockings, tea-towels, banners and scarves.BlogPrintingBks4018-02-06 10.18.49Print Pattern and Colour : For Paper and Fabric by Ruth Issett 2007

This comprehensive guide is a must-have for the textile artist, discussing a range of techniques from simple monoprinting and roller printing to screen printing, printing with found objects, using stencils and rubbing and dyeing effects. There are four main sections:

Getting Started, which describes the workspace and equipment required, including their advantages and disadvantages;

Printing on Paper: Monoprinting; Roller Printing; Print Block (Lino, Foamcore, Found Objects, String Blocks, Cut Print Blocks, Heat and Press and Press Print); Paper Types; Colour Combinations; Using Two Plastic Sheets; Creating Texture; and Geometric Patterns;

Printing on Fabric: Choosing, Preparing and Fixing Fabrics; Print Mediums (including a table detailing their description, use, qualities, fixing and suitable fabric type); and Printing Techniques: Mono Printing, Roller Printing and Block Printing; Using Markal Paint Sticks, Masks and Discharge Paste; Screen Printing and Stencilling; and Stitching and Dyeing;  and

Design Ideas and Development: Building a design from simple blocks; Experimenting with lines; Drawing shapes; Print blocks; and Finding, collecting and organizing design ideas.

The book finishes with a list of suppliers and further reading. It’s a terrific book for encouraging experimentation and play with textile design and so satisfying to create original patterns and cloth.BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.19.46

Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth: Stamp, Screen and Stencil with Everyday Objects by Rayna Gillman 2008

Another inspiring book, that makes you want to race out there and starting textile printing! I feel it has a more informal style to the previous book and it covers slightly different techniques. It covers: Stamping and stencilling with found objects; Random screen printing with stencils made from masking tape, newspaper, freezer paper, found objects, glue resists and soy wax resists ; Gelatin plate printing; Screen printing with thickened dyes, with lots of recipes and step-by-step instructions; Discharge printing with chlorine bleach, bleach gels, thiox and discharge paste; Soy wax batik;  Rubbings with paintstiks and oil sticks, oil pastels and paint; and Thermofax screens.BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.19.16

The Creative Guide to Fabric Screen Printing: Creative Designs for Fabric Printing at Home by Pam Stallebrass 1990

This book was one of my first guides to screen printing and it is an excellent basic guide with some lovely designs for paper, handcut film and light-sensitive stencils and painted screens, with patterns in the back. The chapter on basics includes equipment (screen, squeegee, printing table, inks and fabrics) and instructions for making screens, colour mixing, fabric registration, borders and all over designs, multicolour printing, screen printing, cleaning the screen and heat-setting. Projects include braids, quilts,  jackets and skirts, cushions, rugs and curtains. Instructions to both technique and project are clear and precise from making the stencil and screen to textile printing and assembly of the product.

BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.19.58

Design and Practice For Printed Textiles by Andrea McNamara and Patrick Snelling 2004

The bible for serious students of textile design, it contains everything you could possibly need to know about the craft! From the glossary of terms at the start and the introductory chapter on the design process, including examples of textile designers, it progresses to chapters on :

Design Resources:  Concept and story boards; swatchbooks; and design briefs;

Colour: Language of colour; Colourways in textile design; Choice of colour; electronic colour;

Mark Making Materials and Techniques:

A.Materials:

Dry media (pencils, charcoal, conte and wax crayons, pastels and chalks and markers);

Wet media (ink, gouache, poster paint, watercolour, oils and acrylic paints, and bleach);

Tools (brushes, airbrush, atomiser, masks/films and stencils, technical drawing and ruling pens, ruler, eraser, cutting tools and boards, scissors, set squares, compass and protractor, adhesives and tapes); and

Surfaces (butcher’s paper, cartridge paper, specialist papers, cardboard, detail paper, graph paper, typography, hybrid tools).

B.Techniques:

Line Work; Solid Form; Cut or Torn Paper; Textural Effects ; Lino or Block Printing; Resists (wax or masking fluid); Wash-Off Technique; Masks and Stencils; Monoprint; Frottage; Photocopies and Overlays; Collage and Mixed Media; and Decoupage.

Computer-Aided Design: Scanning; Drawing onto screen, Repeating motifs to create a pattern; Electronic colour; Using the printout; and Designing a tile;

Pattern: Repeat systems and layouts; Croquis designs; Language of pattern, design styles; Incorporating motifs or designs into a repeat; Production considerations; Colouring the design; Repeat mirrors; and Troubleshooting;

Finishing and Presenting Designs: Painting up the design; Colour chips; Using masks and resists; Cut paper designs; Colour photocopies and computer printouts; Mounting designs; Portfolios; and Record keeping;

Fabrics: Sources, selection and types; Fabric characteristics and uses; Fabric finishes and treatment; Dye or pigment; the Burn test;  and Fabric care;

Setting up a Print Workshop: Overview of textile printing; Print tables; Screen frames; Mesh and squeegees; Exposure units; Pressure and staple guns; and Cooling troughs and drying cupboards;

Printing Fabrics: Preparation and techniques: Artwork preparation; Screen preparation; Laying out fabric; and Printing;

Alternative Methods: Screen preparation (Paper stencils; wax crayon and hydrographs); Resists (wax/ gutta); Polychromatic printing and Direct handpainting;and  Monoprinting (Lino and wood blocks; direct stencils; airbrush; heat transfer; and fabric crayons;

Recipes: Pigments and dyes; Dyebaths; Reactive dyes; and Fixing dyed fabric; and finally,

Careers in Textile Design: Studio assistant; Studio designer/manager; Stylist; Colourist; Freelance textile Designer; Consultant/Predictor; Textile Artist/ Designer/ Maker; Surface Pattern Designer; Textile Agent; Textile Buyer;  Textile Conservation; Textile Chemist; and Education.

Throughout the book, there are also many exercises and briefs to backup the text, stimulate thought and develop creativity and technical skills. While probably contains far too much information and expertise for my amateur needs, it’s great to have such an expert overall guide! In the back are appendices for troubleshooting with symptoms, possible causes and treatments, as well as a bibliography and a list of suppliers in Australia.

BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.20.30

The Surface Designer’s Handbook: Dyeing, Printing, Painting, and Creating Resists on Fabric by Holly Brackmann 2006

Another excellent and very practical guide to surface design. It has a very logical layout and impressively starts with Studio Practices and Safety Guidelines, which is so important when handling dyes and other chemicals.

In Chapter Two, the different types of dyes (Fiber-Reactive/ Acid/ Vat and Disperse groups) are discussed in great detail, with a table specifying dye groups and their brand names, suitable fibres, their advantages and disadvantages and their fastness to washing and light. Fibres and fabrics are also discussed, including cellulose fibres (cotton, hemp, flax, jute, ramie, sisal, lyocell, viscose rayon and basketry wicker and grass); protein fibres (wool, mohair, alpaca, cashmere, angora, and silk); and synthetic fibres (nylon, polyester), as well as the Burn test and Water-drop test.

Colour is the primary focus in the next short chapter- its mixing and inspiration, while Chapters Four to Eight give an in-depth look at Fiber-Reactive Dyes (especially Procion and Cibacron); Acid Dyes (Kiton, Lanaset, Washfast and Union dyes); Vat Dyes (Indigo, Inkodye, Tie-Dye, and Heliographic printing) and Discharge Dyes (Disperse Immersion, Transfer Printing and variations), including their chemistry, safety precautions, examples of use, techniques, factors to consider, recipes for dyebaths; and fixing dyes.

The remainder of the book looks at specialised techniques:

Discharging: Thiox; Jacquard Discharge Paste; Sodium hydrosulphite; Liquid Bleach; and Monagum;

Screen Printing: Freezer/ Contact Paper/ Plastic Screen and Thermofax Screen techniques;

Monoprinting: Thickened Fiber-Reactive Dyes or Textile Paint; and Disperse Dye Transfer;

Stamping: Commercial and improvised stamps and techniques;

Stencilling: Applicators; Cutting stencils; Interfaceing-and-net stencils; Clear plastic stencils and technique;

Resists: Water-soluble resists; Cold Wax; Tie-Dye and Shibori techniques (Bounding/ Clamping/Pole wrapping/ Stitching); and Resist-Scouring Silk ;

Devoré, which I adore, but which is incredibly toxic!: Devoré Paste and Discharge Dyeing;

Textile Paints: Types, use, lustre, heat setting or fixation and Heliographic or Sun Printing;

Embellishments: Foiling; Embroidery; Beadwork and Collage.

Appendices include a Dye Worksheet for record keeping; Steps for preparing fabric for dyeing/ rinsing, washing and drying fabric; Calculations for stock solutions, dye quantities and colour mixing; Thickeners and printing; Steaming; and Weights, measures and water temperatures, as well as a Glossary of Terms, Bibliography and Resource List.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough, especially when it comes to the use of the different types of dyes, as the marketplace is deluged with such a wide variety that it is hard to get a handle on them all!BlogPrintingBks4018-02-06 10.20.16Handpainting Fabric: Easy Elegant Techniques by Michelle Newman and Margaret Allyson 2003

If none of the books so far appeal, you might prefer this older book, which despite its title really covers much of the same techniques with a few minor differences. Here is a list of the contents:

Materials and Tools: Fabric (Silk, velvet and velveteen); Paints and Dyes (Acrylics and silk dyes); Brushes; and Fabric Stretchers (Padded table; sawhorses; and embroidery hoops and frames).

Design: Sources of Inspiration (Mark Making; Photos; Magazines; Doodles and Drawings; Sketchbooks; Travel, Architecture and Nature); Elements and Principles (In particular: Colour; Repetition; Variety; Rhythm; Balance; Emphasis; Economy; Proportion); and Laying Out a Design.

Freehand Painting: Wet and Dry Fabric; Zones of Patterns; Monochromatic; and Colouring-Book Method.

Dyeing: Immersion, Scrunch and Dip-Dyeing Techniques and Working with Thickened Dyes.

 Discharge Process: Preparation; Bleach and Bleach Thickeners; and Velvet Mudcloth.

Making Multiples: Stamping; Monoprinting; Stencilling; and Silkscreen Printing.

Using Resists: Preparation; Stamping; Using a Tjanting; Colouring Book; and Other resists and Steaming.

Special Effects: Salt; Alcohol; Shortcut Shibori; Hidden Objects; Fortuny Pleating; Faux Airbrush; Basting; Layering; Quilting; and Collage. This section is where this book comes into its own!BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.19.24

Artcloth: Engaging New Visions Curated by Marie-Therese Wisniowski, Fairfield City Museum and Stein Gallery 2009

We were lucky to catch this inaugural international exhibition in 2010, when our visit to Orange coincided with Artcloth at the Orange Regional Gallery, which often holds wonderful textile exhibitions. See: https://org.nsw.gov.au/.

I have included this catalogue as it showcases twenty-one artworks created using many of these textile art techniques, ranging from digital technology, dye sublimation and snow and hydrosulfite discharge to glazes and patinations, deconstructed screen printing, paper and cloth lamination, shibori, batik and natural dyes. Artists came from England, Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands, United States of America, Japan and Australia, including the aboriginal Ernabella Arts, which I particularly loved. See: http://www.ernabellaarts.com.au/.

In the back are artist biographies, including their exhibitions and residencies, publications and awards. This small booklet gives a wonderful idea of the huge range and potential within this creative field.BlogPrintingBks3018-02-07 15.23.02

The Painted Quilt: Paint and Print Techniques for Colour on Quilts by Linda and Laura Kemshall 2008

While written specifically for quilters, this book is really for all textile artists! It discusses Elements of Design, Sources of Inspiration, Drawing and Collage Skills, Printing Blocks, Oil Pastel and Wash and Stencilling on Paper, and that’s just the first chapter! Health and safety, fabric types and their preparation for dyeing, low water immersion dyeing and making thick dye pastes are the subject of the next chapter, followed by step-by-step instructions for applying colour pre and post quilting.

Colour Before Printing includes: Stencilling on fabric; Rubbings with Fabric Pastels; Block Printing; Basic Screen Printing; and Monoprinting, while techniques for Colour After Printing include: Applying Pastel; Painting; Rollering and Spraying. Removing Colour is often just as exciting as applying it and this section examines the use of bleach and discharge paste, bleach pens and removing or replacing colour after quilting.

Detail can be added with Painted Fusible Web; Gel and other Fabric Pens; Dimensional Paints and Text. Newer techniques include Ink-Jet Printing and Photocopy Transfers. In the back is an indepth examination of some of the author’s works as examples of techniques discussed. It’s a good book for dipping into for inspirational ideas and suggestions rather than an exhaustive guide to textile printing.BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.20.06

Not to be outdone, embroiders also have their own handbooks for textile printing! While many embroidery books include chapters on fabric painting, here are two specific examples:

Fabric Painting For Embroidery by Valerie Campbell-Harding 2001

In this book, Valerie looks at a wide variety of Materials: Fabric Paints, Crayons and Pens; Transfer Crayons and Paints, Metallic Powders, Sponges and Brushes, and Techniques: Sticky Paper, Starch, , Gutta, Wax,  Gathered and Stitched, and Thread Wrapping Resists; Thread Painting; Flicking and Dribbling; Rolling; Scrunching and Spraying; Fabric Painting; Stencilling and Screen Printing, including Photographic Screen Printing; Block Printing with cards and card blocks, potatoes, objects, and stamps; Transferring Photocopies, Discharge Dyeing, and Marbling, with photographs of works employing these techniques in the back of the book, as well as a guide to resurrecting disasters, though really nothing is ever a mistake, as it can be added to your fabric stash and if nothing else, serves as a learning tool!!! This book is a veritable cornucopia of ideas and suggestions!BlogPrintingBks4018-02-06 10.18.41From Print to Stitch: Tips and Techniques for Hand-painting and Stitching on Fabric by Janet Edmonds 2010

This book is probably a more comprehensive guide with a more logical ordered approach to block printing, lino and soft-cut lino printing, monoprinting and printing with found objects than the previous book, which is really a grab bag of different ideas. Janet discusses the materials and tools she uses; how she develops a theme and creates a motif and pattern, giving five different examples; colour; and the different types of printing techniques, before specifically focusing on :

Block Printing: Making Foam and Card Blocks; Printing on Paper and Fabric; Overprinting; and Eraser Blocks;

Lino and Soft-Cut Lino Printing: Cutting the Lino; Printing with Lino Blocks; and Creating Texture Using Lino Blocks;

Monoprinting: Creating Texture, Pattern and Line; Mixed Colour; and Using Resists;

Using Found Objects: Potatoes; Washers; Cardboard; Sponge Printing; Collagraphs; and Textured Rollers.

And of course, a large section on Stitching: Hand and Machine Stitching; Embroidery stitches and a Stitch Gallery!

Along the way, she also has instructions and suggestions for specific projects like Origami Boxes; Gathered Bags and Book Covers. I really liked this book, especially its logical progression and its clear simple explanations of each technique.BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.19.39

Finally, no library of books on fabric painting or surface design would be complete without books on batik, a wax resist method used extensively in Indonesia and South-east Asia.  I first studied batik in my final year of school, then revisited it in 2003 with a TAFE workshop on Textile Design (Batik; Stencilling and Tie-Dye and Shibori) with Jenny Evelyn. It was so inspiring and I produced the lovely tablecloth below! Here are some photos showing my rough design, cloth and tools (Drimarene-K dyes and tjantings):BlogPrintingBks3018-02-07 14.45.30BlogPrintingBks5018-02-07 14.44.55BlogPrintingBks2518-02-07 14.59.39 I was so inspired that my husband bought me this beautiful book that Christmas:

Batik for Artists and Quilters by Eloise Piper 2001

While historically, batik is associated with traditional Indonesian designs, this book contains many beautiful contemporary artworks, which really highlight the potential of this medium. It is also a very practical book with comprehensive chapters on :

Equipment, Tools and Materials;

Waxing Methods: Using Brush; Tjanting; Stamps and Incising Tools;

Using Colour :Additive/ Subtractive Systems; Colour Wheel and Properties; Colour Temperature; and Colour Theory;

Using Dyes : Natural; Batik; Aniline; Fiber Reactive; Chemical Dyes with a Dye Chart specifying the brand names, characteristics and suitable fabrics for each; a recipe for Marigold Dye; and in-depth sections on dyeing in the washing machine, direct painting with activated dyes, discharge dyeing and the all-important storage and disposal of dyes.

Removing Wax and Setting Colour:  Ironing Out; Boiling Out; and Steaming.

The final chapters focus on the use of Batik for Surface Design (Art and design considerations; elements and principles of design; and uses for clothing and home décor); Fine Art: Portfolio examples of Landscapes; Still Lifes; Site-Specific Art; People; Photo Realism; and Abstraction; and Quilting.

This is a beautiful and very inspiring book, as well as being providing very practical instruction!BlogPrintingBks4018-02-06 10.20.52

Batik Design by Pepin van Roojen 1994/ 2001

This book however is totally theoretical, exploring the history and different types and patterns of both Classical (originally from the Javan keraton, or royal courts, thus free from foreign influences with a more limited colour palette and highly symbolic motifs) and Pasisir (or Coastal) batik design (which was produced in coastal areas of northern Java and Madura, that were exposed to sea trading and foreign influences eg Indo-European and Chinese influences, so more colourful with motifs from nature), as well as the batik patterns of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula.BlogPrintingBks4018-02-06 10.20.41 It is a fascinating read with lots of beautiful historical black-and-white and colour photographs, but it is definitely for the batik enthusiast, as well as people interested in the history and traditions of the Malay Peninsula or textile history! Here are an interesting link on Pasisir and Classical Batik: http://www.thelanguageofcloth.com/2015/05/17/batik-pesisir-yesterday-and-today/ .

Shibori For Textile Artists by Janice Gunner 2007

Another very practical guide to the ancient Japanese art of Shibori, the dye-resist technique of binding, clamping, pole wrapping and gathering or stitching cloth, so that the dye cannot reach certain parts, thus creating interesting patterns and designs. This technique has also been used in Africa, India and South America and in her introductory chapter, Janice explores the history of the craft in all these countries with some beautiful photographs of examples.

She examines all the different types of resist techniques, complete with in-depth instructions and suggestions for variations, in the following chapters:

Tied-Resist: Tying cloth around pinched cloth or objects like cowries (Nigeria) or beads, nuts and bolts, corks,  marbles or screws: Rasen, Spiral or Shell; Kumo, Spider Web; Ne-maki; and Honeycomb;

Stitched Resist: Uses stitching on cloth: Mokume, Wood Grain; Karamatsu, Larch; Ori-nui, Running Stitch; Maki-nui, Oversewn Stitch; and Maki-age, Stitched-and-Tied;

Arashi: Wrapping around a pole: Hosoita ichido kairyo, Diagonal Stripes; and Hosoita yoko kairyo, Horizontal Stripes;

 Itajime: Folded and Bound/ Clamp Resist: Naname Goshi, Lattice; and

Tesuji: Pleated and Bound: Tesuji; and Yanagi, Willow,

They are followed by a comprehensive chapter on Dyeing techniques: Immersion; Space and Indigo Dyeing with recipes and comprehensive instructions. The book finishes with instructions for a Shibori Sampler Wallhanging to showcase all the techniques, as well as a list of suppliers of fabrics; dyes; threads; and antique and Japanese textiles.

Having practised many of these techniques at a wonderful Indigo workshop with my friend, Heather, I can highly recommend this book!BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.20.58

In my next craft book post, we enter the wonderful related world of textile dyeing, the magical and exciting art of transforming the colour of cloth!

3 thoughts on “Books on Textile Printing

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