How to Print Fabric by Zeena Shah : Book Blog Hop

Hello friends, I hope you're having a super week. Today, I'm delighted to share with you a fun craft DIY, as part of a blog hop celebrating the imminent release of Zeena Shah's book - How to Print Fabric. Having met Zeena a while ago, first at her lovely workshops (lino cutting then and then screen printing) and at many London Renegade Craft Fairs, it seemed to me that a book deal was always just around the corner. Friendly, talented, super enthusiastic and encouraging, she's honestly the best person to learn a new crafty skill from! So, for those not near enough to attend one of Zeena's workshops, this new book (out on 27th November) is full of amazing and simple tutorials which mean you can get your craft on in your own home. Plus there's also now a whole bunch of videos with Zeena talking you through some of the DIYs, step by step. 

'How to Print Fabric' book by Zeena Shah | Gathered Cheer blog

Taking in the basics first - including understanding pattern design, mark making and the various inks and dyes - the book lays a handy ground work of knowledge in a clear, understandable way. The projects then follow, each one using a different printing technique, and a suggested way to then turn this printed fabric into something beautiful. When my sewing machine is fixed (one day!) I can't wait to try my hand at the watercolour mark printing, using the printed fabric to make a lunch bag. The book then finishes with some helpful sewing techniques, templates and a list of suppliers and resources. Another great thing about the book is that Zeena really has made printing fabric so simple. Most of the projects use household items (anything from potatoes and pencils to lint rollers and elastic bands) so nothing seems out of reach or too complicated. 

So, back to the DIY for today - pencil end printing. I picked this project to share with you today mainly because it is so jolly simple and requires absolutely zero sewing. In the book, Zeena makes a larger hexagon trivet, but I opted to make a few coasters as they're much needed in our sitting room! 

'How to Print Fabric' book by Zeena Shah | Gathered Cheer blog

Materials:

  • Felt fabric (3mm thick)
  • Opaque fabric block printing ink
  • Dish
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil with a rubber end
  • Trick marker (I used a dressmaker's pencil)
  • Scissors (or scalpel and cutting mat)
  • Ruler
'How to Print Fabric' book by Zeena Shah | Gathered Cheer blog

To make:

  1. With a pencil, trace around a hexagon template. I used a handy little hexagon box I had, but you could use a mug or another object too.
  2. Carefully cut out the shape, using sharp scissors or a scalpel and cutting mat. 
  3. Squeeze a pea size amount of ink into a dish and use your paintbrush to spread it out into a smooth, thin layer. 
  4. Use a ruler and trick marker to mark a guideline for printing onto your shape, making a point every 2-3cm that is evenly spaced vertically and horizontally, to create a consistent repeat pattern. 
  5. Using the rubber end of your pencil, dip in the ink and print onto your shape, starting at the top and working your way down to the bottom - to keep your hands away from the wet ink and prevent smudging. 
  6. Dry your print with a hairdyers and fix the felt following the instructions on your ink product. (Once dry, I covered the felt with a scrap piece of fabric and ironed on a medium heat to set the ink into the fabric.

The beauty of mark making with a pencil end is that you can make whatever design you like. To make my set of three coasters different, I did one in lines as above, another using the same pencil end but in a random scattered pattern and another using the tip of my paintbrush to make dots. Experimenting is definitely the way to go here! The result is a sweet item, that took little over 15 minutes to make.

'How to Print Fabric' book by Zeena Shah | Gathered Cheer blog
'How to Print Fabric' book by Zeena Shah | Gathered Cheer blog

I hope you enjoy trying your hand at printing! 

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Disclaimer: All content and photos from the 'How To Print Fabric' Blog Hop are copyrighted and courtesy of Stitch Craft Create. Top image via Stitch Craft Create and all other DIY images styled and taken by Ruth Garner for Gathered Cheer.