Thursday, April 12, 2012

Backgrounds: Wipe Up Cloths and Monoprints

Yesterday, I demonstrated how to make a textured background fabric using a knotted resist. Today, I want to show you how to make two other types of backgrounds: wipe up cloths and monoprints.

I always like to have an extra piece of fabric handy to wipe up excess fabric paint. These cloths can often be surprisingly beautiful. Below is a technique I developed to purposefully create a wipe up cloth.

You will need a piece of acetate (I use Graphix Clear-Lay Plastic Film) taped to your work surface. In this case, I'm using a piece of foam core board as my work surface.

Mix up some fabric paints. I use Pebeo Setacolor Transparent Fabric Paints that have been diluted (1 part paint to 2 parts water).

Use a foam brush to sprinkle colors onto the acetate.

Wipe up the colors with your piece of fabric.

Repeat until you have a pleasing cloth.

To create a monoprint, you will need a similar work set up.
Paint designs on the acetate.

Carefully lay your piece of fabric over the painted surface to absorb the paint. You can press the back of the fabric with your hands or roll a clean brayer over the fabric to help with this step. The brayer will sometimes move the paint, distorting the design. I used my hands for this piece.

If you wish, you can continue to paint additional designs on the acetate and lay the fabric down to absorb more layers.

Once dry, you can add layers of resist or printing over the backgrounds. The first image on this post is a wipe up cloth on which I spread a resist layer of uncooked wheat flour paste. I scratched designs in the wet paste. Once it dried, I painted over the designs.

Below are are two monoprints where I spread a resist layer of uncooked wheat flour paste and scratched designs while the paste was wet. Once the paste dried, I cracked it and painted a layer of transparent paint over the fabric.

You can see how having a textured background added another dimension to these fabrics.


  1. Have a look at about tips on this

  2. Thanks, Marina...I will certainly give it a look and thanks for commenting!