Sunday, July 17, 2011

Have you tried Transfer Artist Paper?

My dear friend Lesley Riley has a new book out for how to use the transfer paper she developed called TAP. The book is filled with great information including the pro's and cons of using TAP on different substrates; fabric, lutradur, glass, metal, wood, paper, clay..., examples of all sorts of different ways to use it and project ideas.

Lesley invited me to create a project for the book, I have been a faithful user of TAP from the beginning. TAP is a coated paper used with an ink jet printer, the image is transfered to the substrate with a hot iron.

The cool thing about TAP is that after your image is printed out, you can draw or add color with a variety of media to the paper and when you iron it to your fabric it is all transferred permanently.

I drew my image on sketch paper, scanned it, changed my line drawing to a warm gray color in photoshop then printed it onto TAP. I used Cretacolor water soluble crayons to paint my image, then transferred it to fabric. I used Kona solid cotton leftover from another project, it worked great. I found when I used a tighter woven fabric like cotton sheeting it felt a little stiff. I did a little simple machine quilting and used embroidery floss to add hand stitched details.

My daughter Indigo (Nina) has also spent some time working with TAP. She drew directly on TAP with a ball point pen then transferred it to raw canvas.


  1. That sounds like an interesting medium to use for transfer, I will have to read more about it.


  2. Hmmm, new art supply to play with is always good news! Have fun in sunny Calif.!

  3. Beautiful! I haven't played with TAP yet but been very tempted. Does it have a soft hand once it's ironed to the fabric?

  4. I have played with it. Now I'm not much of an image transfer person but I wanted to see what it would do. I had very mixed results with it. I got great transfers from black and white images. Color inkjet prints worked well but coloring on the TAP didn't work so well for me. I think that the type of marker matters a lot. The fabric feel results are a lot softer than other products but I didn't have good results washing a garment with a transferred image. I lost about half of the image. I know I didn't wash properly because I just don't take that much care with my laundry! I wanted to see what it would do with the way that I treat my clothes normally.

    I'm not really complaining. I think that testing is a necessary step to learn the limitations of any new product. TAP has some great applications, but it's not the be all end all solution for all image transfer and that's OK with me. I will use TAP again for sure.

  5. I have ONLY used it with fabrics so far and I have found that TAP works great when using my printer, and any "fluid" mediums, (inks, paints, markers) BUT I found that trying to use pencil crayon, crayons and the like resulted in the coating being scraped off no matter how careful I was.

    While it is a kinda cool product, I don't find that it quite lives up to the hype over it because it still leaves a noticeable difference to the hand of the fabric,and a film you can see, when you stitch heavily on it you get lots of powder bouncing off (should I be breathing that?) and you can not use it on dark fabrics which you don't find out until you open the package.

  6. Judy, I enjoy following your blog.

    I think the idea behind TAP is really cool, but my experience with it is **meh**. I agree with the comments by Quilt Rat and Vicki W.

    I just wonder - since you paint so beautifully on fabric with inks, what does TAP offer you that you can not accomplish with inks and paint?

    Thank you again so much for a thought provoking post. All the best - Chris

  7. Chris, Primarily I use paint and inks for my art quilts, but occasionally I want to transfer an image when doing mixed media work, so I have used TAP for that. I like the fact that you can manipulate the printed image with paint before transferring. It's just one more tool to have in the tool box.


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