Fabric Printing with a Brayer
by Lois Ericson and Dawn McIntyre
from Threads #96, pp. 59-63
Creating your own printed or painted fabrics is a delicious prospect, but it can also be a daunting one for the beginner worried about lack of experience with artists’ tools. Well, if you’ve ever painted a wall with a roller, you’re already an old hand with a brayer, a small, rubber-faced version of the basic paint roller, as shown above. A surface-design tool with nearly infinite possibilities for applying paint to fabric, the brayer requires no skill or training beyond a good eye and a taste for adventure. Combined with ordinary objects, it can create an endless variety of repeating and nonrepeating patterns on all kinds of fabric, including as much or as little color variation as you choose. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of brayer types and paint options, then demonstrate ways to create interesting textures and patterns by rolling the brayer over manipulated fabrics or fabrics layered over textured surfaces.
|Rolling out a pattern from a textured surface underneath the fabric is one of many ways to use a brayer. Photo: Sloan Howard.|
Textured brayers can be bought or made. The authors’ collection includes: