Chicago Zine Fest by Fata Morgana

Press-less Patch Printing

Thank you to everyone who came out to Chicago Zine Fest! We had an incredible afternoon showing people press-less methods of patch printing. Below are instructions and supplies for each of the methods we demonstrated. 

Non-Toxic Xerox Transfer

Supplies
Citrasolv Natural Cleanser and Degreaser
Bone folder
Cotton Balls or Paper Towels
Canvas, Muslin, or Other Absorbent Fabric
Laser-printed / Xerox printed Images

Instructions

  1. Prepare your Image: Open the file in photoshop and select Image > Image Rotation > Flip Image Horizontal. This will flip the image and cause any text to appear backwards; it will be right-reading when the image is transferred. 
  2. Prepare your fabric: Cut the fabric down to size and place it on a hard surface. 
  3. Place the xerox printed image face-down on your fabric. You may want to tape the printed sheet to the fabric so it won't move during the transfer process.
  4. Soak a cotton ball or paper towel with Citrasolv. It should be saturated but not sopping wet. 
  5. Coat the back of the printed sheet completely with the Citrasolv-soaked cotton ball.
  6. Using your bone folder, burnish the back of the xerox print. Press the bone folder firmly and evenly across the surface trying not to move the printed sheet to much. 
  7. Remove the xerox print and allow the patch to dry. Once it's dry, the citrus smell should fade fairly quickly. 

Vegan Gelatin Printing

Supplies
1 oz. Agar Flakes (Available at most Whole Foods)
Block Printing Ink
1 Sheet Pan
Rubber Brayer
Bone Folder
Canvas, Muslin, or Other Tightly Woven Fabric
Scrap Paper, Thread, Feathers, and Other Stenciling Materials
Scissors or Exacto Knives

Instructions

  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the Agar flakes and simmer until they're dissolved; about ten minutes. 
  2. While the Agar is simmering, line a cookie sheet / sheet pan with tin foil leaving a two inch over-hang on all sides. 
  3. Pour the mixture into the cookie sheet mould and let cool at room temperature. Gently shake the mould from side to side to remove bubbles. The plate will set in about twenty minutes. The Agar plates can be stored in the refrigerator for later use, but should be brought to room temperature before printing. 
  4. Add a tablespoon of block printing ink to slick surface. Roll out an even layer of ink using the brayer about the texture of an orange peel. 
  5. Brayer the ink onto the plate. Place cut paper, thread, feathers, or other stenciling materials onto the inked plate.
  6. Place your fabric patch onto the plate face-down. Very gently burnish the back of the fabric to ensure a good impression. 

Cyanotype Prints

Supplies
1 Photographer's Formulary Liquid Cyanotype Kit
Photo Washout Tray
Canvas, Muslin, or Other Tightly Woven Fabric
Foam Brushes
Sheet of Glass
Plants, Paper, and Other Flat Objects
Nitrile Gloves

Instructions

  1. Mix the cyanotype solution according to the manufacturer's instructions. This should be done in a dark room or very low light and used as soon as possible. 
  2. Place the solution in a disposable, non-reactive container and submerge the precut patches in the solution, ensuring they're evenly coated.
  3. Allow the patches to dry in a dark room or in very low lighting. 
  4. Consult your weather app for the UV Index the day of printing. It may take some trial and error, but the higher the UV index, the shorter the exposure time. 
  5. Place about an inch of cold water in the photo tray.
  6. Place your patch on the ground and lay your flat objects on top of the patch. If it's a windy day, you may want to place a sheet of glass on your patch after placing the objects. 
  7. Wait until the patch goes from lime green to dark bluish-green. While the patch is exposing, you can move objects around to obtain different exposure times / opacity.
  8. Remove the glass and objects and immediately submerge the exposed patch in the photo tray. Rock the tray gently back and forth until the color washes out from green to the original color of your fabric.

NOTE: When handling cyanotype chemicals and unexposed coated patches you should always wear gloves. While you're washing out the exposed cyanotype, wear gloves or use photo tongs to handle fixed prints.