Paper Cloth: This weekend’s experiment


So, I’ve  owned the book Stitch Alchemy by Kelli Perkins for quite a while. It’s about paper fabric, which is basically fabric coated with – you guessed it – paper. This is supposed to give the fabric surface paper-like qualities, while being more durable and pliable than regular paper. I’ve read the book several times, but I’ve never actually gotten around to making any of this magical substance… until today.

Because I’ve seen Ms. Perkins demonstrating her process on television, and because I am promoting her book, in a way, I think I can show you the basic process without stepping on any toes. If not, I’m sure I’ll receive a Cease and Desist notice from her publisher. 😉

First, you tape freezer paper down on your work surface. I am fortunate enough to have a studio with an enormous drafting table in the middle of it, which allows me to make a large sheet of the stuff. If you want or need to work smaller you just use smaller freezer paper pieces to make individual sheets of the stuff that you can move and set aside for later.

Cut cloth slightly smaller than your freezer paper sheet(s), then saturate with a 1:2 white glue/water mixture. Ms. Perkins recommends using a cheap paint brush and a bucket, but I used a squirt bottle and a brayer, with a foam brush for touchup.

Lay strips of kraft tissue over the top of the fabric, along with any inclusions you would like, like ephemera, book scraps, etc. I’m making mine plain this time.

Smooth the tissue out with your brush/brayer, and

coat with more of the glue mixture. Then let dry.

If you’re interested in this method, Stitch Alchemy is well worth a look-see. The summary I’ve given you is merely a glossing-over of four pages from this 135 page book that includes dozens of surface embellishing techniques, tips, and paper fabric projects. I’m looking forward to playing with my paper fabric tomorrow!

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2 Responses to Paper Cloth: This weekend’s experiment

  1. Hey show us how it goes, I’m interested. I did a paper mache monster years ago, and wanted to make the skin draped and wrinkled so I used glue and fabric on it and it turned out great.
    Thnx!

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