Using a Laminator
Using organza and chiffon I overlapped them within the laminate pouch and put them through the machine to see how they worked. I quickly found that anything more than a single layer of fabric overlapped once made the machine jam, as can be seen here (right). I actually like the concertina effect but it’s going to ruin the rollers in the machine as I have to forcibly drag the pouch back out, even when pressing the release button.
What to do? Well it seemed quite obvious. If the only thing the laminator does is heat the pouch sufficiently to meld it together why can’t the same be done with an iron? I few more attempts with the laminator and then I moved to the ironing board and teflon mat.
On the left above, another crumpled pouch from the laminator. I cut around the edge with the soldering iron before cutting a couple of slits down the middle. The soldering iron has the effect of sealing the edges and as the organza is polyester that works effectively. I then cut two black laminated pieces, ironed on some painted Vliesofix and ironed them over the slits with a very, very hot iron and teflon mat. The pictures above are from the scanner so there are no light effects showing yet, just the layering.
These are very lightweight furnishing fabrics, I imagine they are sheer curtaining. Again I used the soldering iron to cut the pouch away. The pink background is there so the very light pieces can be seen. Looking at more lighting effects will be done in Stage 3 – if I ever get there, as I’m having far too much fun with this stage.
Some more crossed samples are below and these will be joined and layered for Stage 3.
Not very exciting yet but I hope to stitch and layer them later.
I moved to a different colour scheme of blue, purple, pink and peach for some layered squares which, again, will be constructed with lighting effects in the next stage.
These pieces were all laminated using the iron and on some you can see really bad creasing. Obviously, the laminator machine has rollers inside that the pouch is smoothed through (in theory, as mine kept jamming) as it progresses through the heat. The iron doesn’t seem to work well even though I carefully started at one end and slowly drew the iron across to the other.
I love the idea, and the theory of it is interesting, but in practice I’m finding it very hard to get good flat samples, with both the laminator and the iron. Have I just got a cheap rubbish laminator or have others come across the same problem?
I still think it is worth pursuing but perhaps in another way. How about if I put some filmy pieces within the laminated pouch and then placed more fabrics or stitched threads on the exterior? That way I would still be creating layers but avoiding the problems I’ve been having. This development may well be part of what I work on later in this assignment.
I know the manual suggests trying to laminate feathers, threads and stitched motifs and my heart really is in it but I fear the laminator is not and I’m afraid of wrecking it completely. Time to move to the next exercise.