Making a mark
A number of years ago, I went down to an art supply store and bought one of every kind of white pencil they had, and ran a test. I made marks with them all on a piece of dark fabric divided into squares, noting which ones were easiest to use. Then I labeled the squares with a marker I knew would not wash out, and tossed the cloth into the washing machine. The results gave me an idea of which markers would work well and still wash out (assuming my finished piece could be washed).
The champion was Schwann Stabilo “Aquarellable” pencils, white only (color #8052). This showed up well, did not rub off easily, but washed out completely. The last I checked, it was still being made. The drawback is that it’s a relatively soft pencil, so it doesn’t make a very fine line unless you keep sharpening it — so it’s not the best for something that can’t be washed.
Another possibility is to buy a new metal pen (like a fountain pen) that has never been used with black ink. Fill it with white watercolor ink (also from the art supply store). Test it first, of course, but this will work well and wash out when you are done. White tempera paint (common for kindergarten children to paint with) usually washes out too, but it may be too lumpy for the pen.
Transfer by stitching
For a particularly difficult project, I once decided to do a very detailed small piece of embroidery on a background of navy blue pinwale corduroy. (I had a reason at the time, but will avoid this in the future!)
None of the methods I knew at the time seemed suitable. What I ended up doing was printing out the pattern on tissue paper, fastening it lightly to the fabric with water-soluble gluestick, and doing a small running stitch in a contrasting color through all the pattern lines into the fabric. Then I tore away most of the tissue and soaked the piece in warm water to remove the glue and any remaining tissue bits. That worked pretty well. The drawing wasn’t as detailed as I would have liked, but all the tissue did come off, since it was only held by a few running stitches, and I could then go on and do the actual embroidery, pulling out or hiding the running stitches as I went along.
Marking the pattern on soluble interfacing would also work, but I never trust so-called “tear-away” stabilizers; in my experience they inevitably leave little matted bits of fiber partly caught under your stitching, which are difficult to remove, even with tweezers.
Prick and pounce
I had been more reluctant to try the period transfer method known as “prick and pounce” because I knew that the chalk lines it creates rub off easily, and I wasn’t sure my hand was steady enough to follow through in the period manner by painting a fine line along the chalk marks. But Iulitta Rowan gave a class on the subject, and my sample went a lot better than I’d thought. So I can now heartily recommend this. And it works even on pile fabrics like velveteen.
|Index||Guild Charter||News||Events||Guild Programs||Mentors|
|Guild Projects||Members' Projects||Articles||Book List||Resource Links|
This is not an official web site of the Society
for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
The official SCA web site is at http://www.sca.org
The website of Kingdom of the West of the SCA is at http://www.westkingdom.org
Guild Webminister: Jocelyn of Rowenwood
This particular web page last updated on September 13 2006.