Stamping on Fabric

Earlier I had a very short tutorial on how to stamp images on fabric.  This time I’m going to go into more detail.
First, what type of stamps and stamp pads should you use?  Any rubber stamp will work on fabric.  And, any ink based stamp pad will work.  I like Tsukineko’s Fabrico and VersaColor stamp pads.  Also, Jacquard’s Pearl EX stamp pads. 
To keep the fabric stable I like to back it with a double sided bonding sheet such as Wonder Under. I prefer unmounted stamps because if I want to stamp around a doll leg, or arm, I can wrap it around easily.  But, for stamping flat, I use the back of the lid of the stamp pad, or an acrylic block to give an even stamped image.
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The photo shows both Fabrico and Jacquard’s Pearl EX stamp pads.  I also used an acrylic block and a handle to stamp the image.
The stamp pad is unmounted for this project, even though it is a flat surface.  I don’t buy mounted stamps anymore.  If it is mounted, I place the stamp on the wood base in my microwave and nuke it for 20 seconds.  This softens the glue and I can easily remove the rubber from the wood.

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After the image is stamped to my liking, I iron to set the inks.  This guarantees that I’ll have no bleeding depending on what medium I use to add color  the images.  I also prefer using a brown ink pad.  That way I can use soft colors if I want.  Or brighter, darker colors.  It is always easier to go darker, than lighter.
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Copic makes a wonderful alcohol ink based marker for paper and fabric.  I can use it straight from the marker, or put it in their airbrush system.  For this project, I used the markers as is.  I used a flesh tone for the bodies, then a darker color to add shading to the faces and upper bodies.  Iron again to set the inks.

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Using colored pencils I added highlights, deepened the shadows, and blushed the cheeks.  The colored pencils I prefer are Prismacolor by Sanford.  But Lyra, Derwent, Van Gogh, etc., make nice colored pencils that work well on fabric.  They need to be waxed based.  After the colors are added, I blended with a scrap of fabric wrapped around my index finger.
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Detailing is next.  I used colored pencils to color in the irises, then Copic’s Multiliner SP pens to add the details.  If you don’t have these pens, which are new, you can use Micron Pigma pens.  The colored pencils blurred the detailing from the stamping, so you need to go over the features with the pens.  I used a toothpick dipped in white paint to add the whites to the eyes and the highlights in the pupils.
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Lastly, I used the Copic markers to color the hair, flowers and clothing and acrylic paint such as Stewart Gill’s Byzantiums and Jacquard’s Lumiere to paint the background. 
The sample was used in a project for Stitch magazine in the UK.  I made it into a postcard size, beaded an edging and added some silk ribbon flowers along the bottom edge.  I’ve also used the images to decorate a purse, alter a tote, create bookmarks made from fabric and quilt blocks.  The images are from my line of rubber stamps, which are made for me by Ready Stamps, a division of the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

Happy Stamping!

4 Responses to “Stamping on Fabric”

  1. spiralsun65 says:

    Thanks for such a detailed tutorial. I really enjoyed your feature in Stitch Magazine.

  2. mayrarene says:

    Hello!, Patty
    Am Mayra Rene López Menchaca.
    Due to the fact that I saw in Barnes and Noble library one of your books was
    that I initiated my taste for the wonderfull world of dolls.
    For two years and a half I follow your page and your work. For my it
    is a fountain of inspiration.
    I live in Monterrey, Mexico,
    Thank you for reading this message and I congratulate him sincerely on
    your work.
    It is excellent.
    Regards for you and your daughters who are so creative like your.
    receives a greeting and an invitation commits an outrage in order
    that you visit my blogg.
    http://www.mayrarene.blogspot.com
    Sincerely mayra rene

  3. Mel M. M. M. says:

    What sheer delight. I love this! Thank you so much for the stunning inspiration! :O)

  4. Madonna Pincus says:

    Thanks Patti for such clear instructions and the photos help immeasurably. Your dolls are so beautiful. And thank you for the many great patterns you make available to those of us who can replicate but not originate.

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