Recently I made a “hoody” from my basic raglan pattern with a cowl neck, zippered front and kangaroo pockets. I decided to take that black hoody, made from bamboo french terry, and do some block printing on the back and a wee bit on the front to give it some sparkle! (you can read about how I made the hoody pattern here)
I started out by carving a block. For this a chose a simple shape, a curved triangle and practiced printing on fabric to get the pattern I wanted. I went with a half drop and mirrored pattern. Meaning I flipped (mirrored) the block each time I went down my column and then for the next column I started the printing down “half” of the diamond shape I achieved by mirroring the block.
Play Around to See What You LOVE
I practiced on some scraps of my garment fabric until I got the look I wanted. Oh, and that heavy edge of ink I got in the sample above? I made sure to check my stamp more closely as I started printing my actual top, I kept a rag around for just that reason and wiped the edges if needed. To get the ink color I wanted…a purpley gray, I mixed violet, white and black ink. I like to use screen printing ink (Jacquard brand) for block printing on knit fabrics because it soaks into the fabric and gives it a “deconstructed” look that I like. I also like the hand of it. The print moves and stretches with the clothing as I wear it rather than sitting on top and cracking.
Laying out the Printing Plan
I also like to lay a bit of wool under my fabric so that the block can sort of sink into the fabric and give me a better registration (or more clear print). Then I took my shirt and measured the back to get the exact middle of the shirt. I laid my ruler along the middle where my middle column would go. I started here and worked my way out.
After the printing was complete and fully dry, I set the ink with a warm iron and printed a bit on the front as well! I’m happy with how it turned out and now I find myself scheming on ways to use the pattern on some knit yardage for a dress!