Eggs-perimenting with the heat press

I seem to have acquired a bit of a reputation for putting strange items in the heat press.

Last year it was sunflower seeds and pearl barley. Last week I was playing around with the turtle shape (hexagons, pentagons and quadrilaterals) in pelmet Vilene and wanted to introduce some more texture. So I added some cloves to the pentagons and eggshell to the hexagons.

The eggshell was really interesting. I put quite large pieces on the Vilene, and because it’s slightly convex there’s a satisfying crack as the heat press flattens it. It also means that the final shape is unpredictable – it depends on how it fragments. And as you can see from the white patches in the photo, the main problem is that some of the eggshell falls off as it cools.

So this week I coated the inside of the eggshell with PVA and experimented with different fabrics – felt, cotton scrim, lace, polyester organza with and without dye.

Of these, I think the felt was most effective – I like the contrast between the fragile hardness of the shell and the softness of the felt (although it tends to go quite papery in the heat press). The PVC definitely helps the shell stick more firmly, especially where there was still some membrane attached to the inside.


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Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

3 thoughts on “Eggs-perimenting with the heat press”

  1. Hi Kim. My kids are getting me a heat press for Xmas. Can you give me any advice on do and don’t please.
    Thanks for your time.

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Lucky you – what great kids you have! 🙂

      I’m not a real expert on heat presses – I just played around a bit with the one at Morley College when I was attending a textiles course there. And it’s a couple of years since I last used one.

      From what I remember, my main tips would be:

    2. It works best with synthetic fabrics rather than natural ones – you can get some great results with Dysperse dyes (you can buy paper or paint your own). And you can use the paper again until the colour fades completely.
    3. Don’t forget to use baking parchment – or you could end up with colour where you don’t want it to be!
    4. If you’re experimenting with plastics, do make sure you work in a well-ventilated space.
    5. If you like screen printing, try using a puff binder and then putting the fabric in a heat press – it produces some very interesting effects.
    6. This book by Dawn Dupree could be another useful present to give you some inspiration. Have fun!

      1. Hi, Thanks for your reply. I have been doing transfer dying for a little while now. The problem I have is that I am disabled and I am finding the length of time an iron takes is too much for me. I was on a Kim Thittichai workshop and she brought along her heat press and it is a better option for me and better transfer of colour cos I love colour!. Thanks also for the book recommendation. I will put it on my wish list. I love the sound using the puff binder cannot wait to try it.

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