Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
Recently, I was making key covers for my online stores. I intended to feature the Kokeshi illustrations that I created a while ago, by using iron-on transfers as well as printable cotton. As it was my first time working with both medium, it was indeed an exciting “blood, sweat and tears” experience.
Having an Epson inkjet printer, I decided to get Epson’s Iron-On Printer Paper (アイロンプリントペーパー). One pack with 5 pieces of A4-size iron-on transfer paper.
Because I was overly excited and wanted to have them printed as soon as possible, I failed to do a test print (on normal paper). Yup, and Murphy’s law came true… “If anything can go wrong, it will.” I unintentionally messed up the page setting and the print was larger than A4 size. So part of the illustrations were cropped. If you’ll see the previous picture, yup that was my mistake put to good use.)
After I had successfully printed out the illustrations, I cut them into desirable shape with nice border around the main image. Ironed them one by one onto white 100% cotton fabric. And to my horror (after peeling the paper)… TINY bit of HAIRS stuck between the fabric and the transfers!!! Where on earth do they come from?! Sigh, end up not able to use that lot! Sob!
When I finally have hair-free transfers, I took one of them and completed a key cover. Despite my best effort, something was bothering me. The transfers were ironed onto NEW white 100% cotton. Somehow I felt the transfers made the cotton fabric looked used and dirty. Maybe it’s just fussy old me but I wanted to do it differently. So once again, I forgo that lot too!
Finally, I had better quality when I decided to be generous and used more of the iron-on transfer paper. Instead of trimming along the image’s outline, the iron-on transfer and its cotton fabric backing were cut according to the size of the key cover.
Yup, pleased at last! Out of 4 pieces of iron-on transfers I used (and wasted), I managed to create only THREE precious successful key covers.
Printable fabric comes in two types – the fused (iron) on or sew on. Not wanting to work with the hot iron this time, I choose the sew-on type, which is not easy to find in Japan. Fortunately, I stumbled across Kawaguchi’s 100% Printable Cotton. Though its on the pricier side, it is a Japanese brand that is pretty reputable with a wide range of handicraft supplies.
Colors are less saturated. Printed illustration has a wash out “seasoned” look. Hmm, although it will still appeal to a different customer pool.
Here are the pretty lot that I made using the printable fabric.