Thursday 9 February 2017

Melted Textures

It is Cec here and I am bringing you some information on a different way of getting texture onto your project.   I am calling this Melted Textures and am showing you a variety of things that change and become really cool looking when you take a heat gun to them.  This is just a technique post and because I was running out of time, I don't have a project to go with it but promise I will use something from this in a future project.

Before I start, I need to remind you that you must have a heat resistant kraft sheet on your work surface to protect it and do not touch your media until it has cooled down.

When I started this project I really had only thought about doing something with TYVEK but then I got playing and tried melting lots of other things.

So this is TYVEK and it is available in sheets and envelopes.  I first painted one side with some metallic paints.  Then I turned it over on my kraft sheet and waved my heat gun over it.  As it melts, it forms craters on the side that you are heating, which become bubbles on the opposite side.  It is important to note how it melts in case you want to paint it.  TYVEK also accepts rubber stamps with Archival Ink so you must do that before you start melting.  In this case I decided I wanted bubbles, craters and holes on the painted side so I just kept turning it over and heating until I got the effect I wanted.

Next I decided to see what would happen to fabric.  I think the resulting fabrics would be great on a stitched collage or even a canvas collage.

I have used lining fabric to make flowers in the past but have just waved the petal edges above a flame and watched the edges curl.  This time I tried lining fabric with my heat gun.  This is polyester and comes in a ton of colours and is cheap.  As you can see melts beautifully to give lots of bubbles.  I waved the heat gun back and forth over the top of the fabric and at least an inch above.

Next I tried some lightweight woven interfacing (not the kind that is iron-on) and it made bigger bubbles.  Again, I waved the heat gun over it.  I don't really like it but it did work - sort of.

This is organza and I waved the heat gun over it.  It was successful and would be nice on something stitched.  I have layered this organza with some of the lining fabric to make flowers.

This is also organza from a package of two round tablecloths that I got for 25 cents at a wholesale warehouse on a visit to Fancy Gap, Virginia.  This time I not only waved the heat gun over it, I also moved the heat gun vertically up and down over it - DO NOT TOUCH IT WITH YOUR GUN OR HANDS.  I love the effect because it not only has bubbles, it has really great holes.

This is taffeta and look at the bubbles (and a few holes) I got with this one.  It reminds me of the Michelin Man.  Taffeta is stiff so it would work really well on a collage.  I didn't try stamping or stenciling on it but since it is such a tight weave, I bet it would work.

This is cheap craft felt, the kind that comes in small rectangles from the craft store or fabric store.  It does not give you lots of bubbles but when it melts, it shrivels up to become harder and wavy.  It also give lots of holes depending on how much you heat it.

Next I wondered what would happen if I painted it first.  These are my failures but keep reading because I had a really great result when I did it a bit differently.

I discovered that I liked it better when I painted it with colours that are close to the colour of the felt but you can paint it any colour(s) you want.  In the first photo I used some Espresso Metallic Paint on some brown felt.  Make sure when you paint that you have sections connected because the felt should melt away in the areas not covered with paint and if you have gaps, it will fall apart.

Next I decided to sprinkle on some gold and copper embossing powder and then I went at it with the heat gun.

DISCLAIMER:  I didn't have any brown craft felt and have no idea what the content of the felt I grabbed from my sewing cupboard was so it did not react quite the same way but it is cool and would have only had a few more holes with actual craft felt.  Where you see a brassy colour is where they would have been because that was the unpainted felt.  I suppose if I had kept heating it eventually would have made a hole but I was afraid of setting it on fire.

This result is quite stiff and I want to make a larger one because I have some ideas on how I would use it.

I hope I have inspired you to play with different fabrics and use the result in your creations.


  1. Cec, this is a wonderful experiment, I had no idea that so many materials would react like this on heating! Thanks so much for sharing! Anne xx

  2. Oh Cec, really enjoyed your experiments, such a variety and don't they all create fabulous texture! There is something rather wonderful about applying heat and watching things the magic of embossing powder. some of these ideas might work their way into a fabric creation of mine. xx

  3. amazing experimenting Cec - thanks for sharing the results - I especially love the taffetta...brilliant! Hugs Rachelx

  4. Amazing results with so many items x looks like you had lots of fun Cec. TFS Annie x