It's been a while since I had the chance to get out my Kraft Tex again and try something new. If you've never heard of Kraft Tex before then check out these previous articles and you can see how versatile it can be. It's often described as paper-fabric or just recently I've seen people calling it vegan leather too (which might be a bit of a stretch!), but pre-treat it and it can have a leather-like texture.
I've heard that you can print on Kraft Tex and that it's also really good for arty projects such as painting, coloring, inks, and more. Well, we don't have an art shop here in Cayman so I was rather limited to what supplies I could find but that didn't stop me at least giving it a try. I've tried printing on fabric before and had awesome results so this seemed the ideal next project to try.
I started with the Stone colored Kraft Tex and thought that would be a good compromise for printing and coloring. Not as dark as the Black or Chocolate but not bright like the white that could get grubby over time. You must have seen all of the adult coloring books and pages by now, and I admit, I love these but still haven't actually got one for myself. The Kraft Tex project seemed like the perfect chance to do both at once so I downloaded a free adult coloring page (under the sea of course) and resized it to fit 4 x 6 inches in my print settings.
Then I cut a piece of Kraft Tex 6 x 4 inches, flattened it out with a hot dry iron, and when it was cool, just ran it through the printer. Success first time! I just gave it a little ‘tap' as it started to feed and it went through my regular home printer no problem at all. The picture was just printed in black but there's no reason you couldn't use color printing too, although then if printing in full color you might want to try the white Kraft Tex as your base. Experiment and see how you get on.
The printing came out perfectly and I should have taken a photo but I was so delighted with it that I wanted to color it right away. So out came my ‘art supplies' which consists of a red and a blue Sharpie – I told you I was making do with limited art supplies! I doodled a few colors on there and this is the result. I like the look very much, although it was probably more classy without the Sharpies to be honest, just with the black line drawing. I'll know for next time.
Now time to give it a good scrunch and boil it up for 5 mins and see what happens. Fingers crossed with those Sharpies…But oh dear, that didn't come out so well. The Kraft Tex has the lovely leather effect texture I was after and all the black printing remained perfectly. The Sharpies, on the other hand, didn't do too well and both the red and the blue ink ran and bled into the surrounds. Now it looks all mucky and blurry. In fairness, I don't suppose the regular Sharpies are designed to be boiled. This project gets officially tagged as a ‘failure'.
However, as an experiment, I thought it went well. The printing was easy and came out really sharp and clear so I'll certainly be doing that again. Now to come up with some ideas for how to use the printed Kraft Tex and look out for some new designs to use.
Probably won't be using those Sharpies again although I hear they do make oil-based paint pens including in metallic colors such as silver, gold, and bronze. I bet those would look stunning on the black Kraft Tex background if you were artistic, which sadly I am not.
Have you ever tried painting or printing on Kraft Tex yet? Got any tips for products that work well and resist the boiling? Let me know your tips.