by Lynette Williams
Originally termed "Fabric Collage" I have come to call my art Textile Fusion because I think it better describes the type of medium I work in and the process I use.
When I have come up with an image either from a photo or a drawing, my first step is to select the fabrics that I will use.
I usually pick quite a few at first and then narrow down to the ones I think will work best with the particular image I am working on. All of my fabrics are sorted by color. I make sure to choose light, medium and darker values in the various colors represented. This gives depth to the piece.
Once I have decided on my fabrics I begin by backing approximately 8" x 8" squares (larger for background fabrics) of the chosen fabrics with fusible webbing. By doing this step first you can cut desired shapes from it and you will be sure to have pieces that have webbing all the way to the edges which is important when you go to fuse the pieces in place.
My base is usually canvas applied to masonite with a fabric glue specially formulated for longevity and for use with fabrics to prevent cracking or yellowing.
As I work, I lightly fuse the pieces with a small craft iron at first until I am sure I am satisfied with the result. That way I can still remove the pieces that don't work without doing much damage.
I usually work from back to front, detailing the background images first and then layering to the forward most images. When the entire piece is finished I give it a good press with a standard size iron to make sure everything is adhering completely to the base surface. Then it is sprayed with a protective coating.