Tutorial: Gelatin Printing on Fabric

I’m working on a mini quilt for the Brit Quilt swap and for the border squares I wanted to introduce a bit of personality. I could have put in some of the fabrics I’ve had printed with my designs but it wouldn’t fit in with the more abstract colour based design I’ve made so far. So I thought now would be the good opportunity for some gelatin printing!

You Will Need:
2 sachets of powdered gelatin or vege-gel (about 14-15g)
1 cup/235ml cold water
Saucepan and measuring jug
Wooden spoon
Flat bottom containers to be used as moulds
Plain cotton base fabric
Acrylic (or fabric) paints
Paintbrush (optional)
Scrap fabric

Note: This amount of gelatine made 2 plates about 1.5cm thick and 8cm wide. if you want to make a big plate, you could make it a little shallower and double the water and gelatine quantities.

1) Pour the water into the pan and sprinkle the gelatine on the surface. Let it soak in for a minute. Then heat.

2) Keep stirring the gelatine to stop it sticking to the bottom of the pan and once boiling. Turn it off the heat and pour it into your containers. It’s important that the inside  bottom of the containers is smooth for a smooth print. If it has a slight ridge, this will transfer onto your fabric. You can always cut the moulded jelly down once it sets into other shapes if you prefer.

3) Make some space in your fridge (not helped by me doing a shop just before this tutorial) and pop them in there for a few hours to set.

4) Once set, pull carefully out of the moulds and let the gelatine warm up slightly to room temperature.

5)  Apply your paint to the jelly blob. You can just squeeze it on or brush it on. I’ve gone for a loose daisy shape.

6) Put the fabric over the top face down and smooth it out over the gelatine from the centre outwards. You might want to cover the back with a bit of kitchen roll just to protect your hands from paint coming all the way through the fabric.

7) Take off the fabric and leave to dry face up. Once dry, cover with scrap fabric and press with a hot iron to set the paint. You can then use it as you wish!

I managed to create a series of near identical prints by splodging on the paint rather than brushing it on, which leaves plenty of paint behind for more prints before adding more paint.

Let me know if you have a go at this and what you use it for!


Fundraiser update- so far I’ve raised £30 of £7500 as of today, so if you can spare £1, please visit the Help Me page. Thank you!


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