What is embossing ?
Embossing involves making reliefs on surfaces of paper, fabric, etc so that the image is imprinted in either a raised or lowered design. In commercial fabric production Stamps made of metals, rubber or engraved rollers are usually used for embossing.
Aren’t we all familiar with embossed papers usually used for making wedding invitations? They have beautifully raised embossed patterns. When embossing is done on fabric this relief can be achieved with the help of ink and embossing powder – a sort of raised printing on fabric. These embossing powders are then heat set.
How to emboss fabric with embossing powder
Originally this process uses ink and embossing powder along with stamps and stamping pads to make the design. The fabric is stamped with the stamps. This stamped area is sprinkled with embossing powder, fully, thoroughly
This method is better done one single imprint at a time, rather than everything stamped and then powder applied and then together heat set. One design at a time is the way to go.
Do not worry about the embossing powder falling and sticking on other places other than the stamped places. It wouldnot. The ink acts like a glue and retains the powder on the stamped area. Just shake off the excess powder from your fabric. Heat set with a heat gun so that the embossing powder works and puffs up. If you do not have a heat gun you cannot do this as this process requires application of high heat.
This process can be replicated at home with a puffy medium you get at craft stores for mixing with fabric paint
This medium is readily available at craft stores and you can mix it with fabric paint at a ratio 3:1 ; puffy medium 3 drops and fabric paint 1 drop.
Mix thoroughly and use on fabric like any fabric paint – it is better to do small areas with the puffy medium. After the paint is dry for more than 24 hours heat set from the back side and the embossing will be visible to you clearly
Here I am using silver powder mixed with the embossing medium and the embossing looks soft and smooth and really nice. I just decided to outline the flower design.
After 24 hours I pressed from the back and the simple paint lines just tool on a new life and puffed up.
You can still do embossing of a different kind on fabric with a simple iron.
Embossing on Velvet.
The method of embossing described here involves making impressions on the surface of velvet fabric. Velvet has a piled fabric surface and when heat is applied imprints of your stamps are made beautifully on its surface.
A plain velvet fabric can bore you to tears after some time, especially if you have yards and yards of it. Ofcourse you get embossed velvet from stores, but isn’t it fun to make it yourself. (Checkout the different types of velvet fabrics here)
You can use rubber stamps or metal stamps to make the impressions on velvet. I am using a metal locket with details. But it is better for a first attempt not to go with too many details.
Plastic stamps are not suitable with this method as heat is involved.
If you have crochet lace this can be used to make impressions. Use your imagination and carve different stamps from erasers with an exacto knife or simply go through your junk box in the back of the cupboard for things you could use as stamps – this is how I found the locket.
You need a water sprayer to mist the surface of the fabric.
An iron box.
Start by misting the fabric surface with water.
Keep the stamp on your ironing board right side up. Keep the fabric right side down on the stamp. Press hot iron on to the fabric just on top where the stamp lies beneath. Hold for about 30 seconds. You are using heat to get the details on the pile of the fabric.
If there are many details on your stamp, try to get the iron and heat on all the crevices so that the details are not left out.
Lift up the iron ; You have an embossed fabric in your hands