Monday, 22 September 2008


I went on a course at Gallery Textiles with Annie, to learn about Lutradur. I had purchased a sheet of Lutradur last year but didn't have the confidence to play with it in case I "ruined" it. Now I know that "ruining" it is one of the fun things to do with it!!!

Lutradur is a lightweight polyester fibre substance which responds to heat by melting, and which can be coloured in a range of ways. It can also be printed on (but the images will be ghostly rather than dark and crisp), or have toner based images and text transferred onto it with acetone. Colour can ba added using transfer dyes or even colourwashes or paints, but these may not react in quite the way you expect as the lutradur doesn't actually absorb the wash or paint, this wraps itself round each fibre and clings to itself. And you cna't hurry the drying, because heat melts Lutradur!

The piece below was stamped with Xpandaprint (sometimes called dimensional fabric medium) using a foam stamp. I learn that less is more with this stuff!

Once stamped, if you carefully heat, the Xpandaprint bubbles and expands into a raised image. At that point I sprayed the whole piece with a colourwash, then used hot foils to highlight the highest areas of the main focal point with gold. (Not all foils use heat, some only work with glues.)

I then took a versatool and used the fine solder point, to 'cut' the Lutradur here and there,and wafted a heat gun over it for a while until it started to melt into small distressed holes.

The piece below was black Lutradur (70g weight), which was coloured using metallic paints. They give texture rather than lots of colour. Once painted and dry, I used Xpandapriont and a stencil to create the ferns, then heated them until they expanded. As this was a test piece, I used the fine soldering tool again, to cut some shapes into the Lutradur. You can use metal stencils to cut precisesly, the tip goes through the Lutradur like a hot knife through butter. I heated the whole piece with the heat gun, if you enlarge by clicking on the image, you can see where the cut and heated areas are.

This is fun stuff and I am sure I will be using it again.

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