Week 8: Etching, Bleaching, Rasterising



  1. Velvet
  2. Fibre Etch solution
  3. Silkscreen or applicator


  1. Apply the fibre etch onto the velvet by using desired technique. In class, we used a silkscreen.
  2. Wait for it to dry.
  3. Iron the velvet to a brown or burnt colour.
  4. Brush off the brown parts.


The first few attempts were unsuccessful as I couldn’t really get the fibres to come off completely. I think the design was a little too intricate and the silkscreen wasn’t as successful in transferring the fibre etch onto the velvet.

Next, I tried painting the fibre etch directly onto the material, and I made sure to be generous in the application.

This time it worked out much better, and the fibres came very easily off, giving a satisfying result.



I felt that it was harder than expected. The steps seems simple and the logic makes easy sense, however in practicality there are more things to consider, such as how much etching solution is needed, whether the design is fully covered with the fibre etch, and how burnt they need to be heated to.

In all the cases, the results are affected differently. However, I enjoyed the final result of the more successful trial that I did. It was very satisfying to have the burnt parts come off so easily.




  1. Bleach
  2. Dark cotton material



Essentially, apply the bleach onto the material. However, there are a few ways in which you can do this. It includes spraying, painting directly, and using techniques similar to tie-dye. This will create beautiful organic patterns on the material you bleach.


Inspired by the beautiful streets at night, I tried to replicate the glowing streets by using bleach on my pants. I thought that this was an appropriate method since the quality of how the material is bleached gives a gradient effect from white to orange, which suits my intention of replicating a light effect.



Artists die young. I inhaled quite a lot of bleach, and that must be unhealthy. But hey, anything for art, right?

Overall, I feel that bleaching is a versatile technique. It is unpredictable, and it is irreversible, but those qualities also play a part in helping us create one of a kind works.


Week 9: Thermoplastics, Vacuum Forming



You are going to need lots of rubber bands! You can have any material for the mold, but make sure that it wouldn’t melt in boiling water.



  1. Wrap objects or molds with the polyester and secure with rubber bands or foil.
  2. Wrap in foil and boil for 40 minutes.
  3. Take out and let dry.




Using the vacuum forming machine, you can immediately create molds of various objects.

First, place your object(s) in the designated area and pull the lever down.

Add the material. In this case, it is a sheet of white plastic / PVC like material.

Pull the heater over and wait for the plastic to heat up to no lines.

Pull the lever up and turn on the suction.

For thicker or bigger objects, blow air and then suction. This helps to create a more even distribution. 


Week 10: Resin Encapsulation, Latex





Mix the resin with the hardener. Try to get the ratio as accurate as possible as too much hardener will cause the resin to crack. However, this could also be done intentionally if you do want to achieve some cracks.

Once mixed, quickly use the resin before it hardens, as it becomes much harder to manipulate.








I tried using the older latex. I dripped it over my vacuum formed shape of a bottle. I was looking to see whether this would dry up to be a mold. Unfortunately it didn’t dry up at all! Looks like the old latex can’t be used anymore.

Even though I didn’t get to do a second try with the new latex, I did previously use latex for special effects makeup. I think that latex is a very interesting material. It is sculpt-able and can take up any shape. By layering through applying and drying multiple times, you can achieve a different thickness and texture.


Week 2: Transfer Printing


Heat transfer printing is a popular method to transfer designs from paper to fabric. The rise in polyester fabrics gave rise to this new form of printing. I myself find it absolutely amazing how our hand-drawn / hand-painted designs on normal paper can be transferred so beautifully on fabric.


  1. Dye (dry or wet) – Crayola fabric crayons or transprint ink


  1. Paper
  2. Fabric (Polyester is good)



  1. Draw or paint your design using heat transferrable crayons or special inks on paper.


2. Place the design on top of your fabric with the design side touching the fabric, and heat it with an iron.

3. Enjoy your results!




There are many ways in which transfer printing could be used, most notably in fashion. I think it would be cool to see big designs printed on a scarf!



I think that transfer printing is a versatile method. You can have digitally printed designs, and at the same time you can also directly use the inks and create organic designs by hand. The materials needed are relatively simple, and you don’t need fancy equipments to carry out the transferring, you just need a good old iron.

I had fun looking at how the colours showed up on fabric, since they were way darker on paper. Sometimes it makes it hard to see the design, especially when we mix the colours, but I guess part of the beauty is in its unpredictability.


Week 7: Thermochromic Ink

Thermochromic Ink!

The term thermochromic comes from the Greek word “thermos”, meaning heat and “chroma”, meaning colour. Something that is thermochromic changes colour as the temperature changes. In fabrics, a special dye acts as the thermochromic agent.

Thermochromic dye can be used in different ways. You can make images disappear, or you could make designs change colour by layering thermochromic dye on top of normal dye.

R  E  F  L  E  C  T  I  O  N

Again, this is another technique whose existence I knew of already, but whose workings I have never really understood! I’m really glad that not am I only exposed to so many new ways of manipulating materials, but that I also get to try them out!

Thermochromic ink can be used on many different products and materials, and I think that it lends a little magic to the world! I remember the first time I saw a mug that changes colour with hot liquid poured in. I wasn’t surprised, given the technological advances of our time, but I was pretty amazed. Another friend of mine has a phone case that changes colour with just your body temperature. You could then “draw” on the case or make prints with your fingers, that disappear in just seconds.

In the experimentation, I tried printing the two colours together on one sheet creating a design, almost like the mountains / seas / volcanoes / sky. The printed design is still kind of visible after heating it. I’m not sure why, maybe because of the material?

I think trying to just paint directly on the material or canceling more areas to create negative space that is not covered in the thermochromic ink would be interesting to try out in the future.

Week 5: Smocking, Elastics

This week we learnt a really cool technique, smocking!

What is smocking? 

Smocking is an embroidery technique that is used to gather fabric. Usually, this is done so that the fabric can stretch. As you can see in the picture of the little girl below, this technique is used widely in making dresses.

However, this technique also allows fabric to be gathered in a really cool way to create patterns. This form of fabric manipulation may be tedious, but the results are super rewarding!


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I’ve seen textures made by smocking before, but didn’t know that they were produced by sewing the fabric to create folds.

After a little bit of googling and trying it out, I grasped the basic idea of how to do this technique. Soon, I was engulfed in finishing my pattern. It is really satisfying to watch the fabric slowly form into something mesmerising.

I experimented with using a leather-like material, and what I discovered is that the thickness of the material resulted in a sturdy form. I imagine that this would be useful in making shapes in garments or artworks. It makes me wonder what it would be like to do smocking on a flimsier material!

Week 6: Knitting



  1. Knitting needles (or chopsticks haha)
  2. Yarn (or other materials)
  3. Time


With the yarn that I had, I tried knitting with different thickness. I also tried crocheting again. In the past I did crocheting for my A levels, and made balls that are stuffed. I recreated that to the best of my memories.

I would like to explore more materials, as you can virtually knit or crochet any string like material, be it plastic, fabric or whatever. As long as you have it in strips and it is malleable enough, you can knit with it and I think the results would be interesting!




Compared to knitting, I think that crochet is relatively more forgiving and unbounded. You can make virtually anything. You just have to figure out how the structure works in your brain. Other than the usual scarves, hats and mittens, knitting and crochet can be used to create unusual textures for fashion, for example.


It was fun getting to know how to knit, since I was previously only familiar with crochet. It is very therapeutic and addictive, and I find it hard to stop knitting once I start. I do it everywhere, as I eat, as I walk, as I do other things. I usually can’t multitask, but with knitting my hand moves automatically, so my brain can focus on other things. How fascinating!


Week 4: Felting



Really simple! Some wool felt and needles!



There are a few types of felting. In this class we learnt wet felting, dry felting and nuno felting.

Typically the steps are as follows:

Wet Felting

  1. Wet the felt with some water and soap.
  2. Use the needles to form into desired shape.
  3. Let dry.

Dry Felting

  1. Pull apart the felt fibres.
  2. Use the needles to form into desired shape.

Nuno Felting

Nuno Felting is the technique in which other materials are merged together with felt. For example, silks or tulle. Any other materials that can entangle themselves with felt will also work.



I experimented with wet and dry felting. I tried creating a large sheet of even felt, like the ones we usually get in stores. After that, then I tried felting in a design. I realised that it is harder to felt a design in since the sheet of felt has already merged on its own.

With dry felting, I tried to make some balls. This inspired me to create an eyeball, which result I really enjoyed. I think the quality of the felt was really good to represent the red veins on the eyeball.



Felting is a tedious process, but rewarding in the end. I learnt to be patient through the repeated poking and the stabs from the sharp needle.

Mad respect for those who do felting seriously! The results are awesome, and you can make so many things with this material. Soft or hard, flimsy or rigid. IT all depends on what you want to make, and the limit is your creativity!


Week 3: Fabric of Thread, Plastic Fusing

R  E  F  L  E  C  T  I  O  N  

I joined the class later than my classmates, and was a little lost at first, but soon I saw how fun it was! The technique we learnt in this class was rather new to me. I knew of water soluble material before, but never exactly knew in detail what it entails. Getting to have a go at it on the sewing machine is really fun!

I really like the freedom that comes with fabric of thread. You can make any design with only your imagination as the limit. Moreover, it is also a way to reuse any waste thread or fabric. You can make waste into art, or something useful! Other than that, the nature of the water soluble material also allows for the possibility of sculpture.

I think that the outstanding quality of this technique is it creating beauty amidst chaos, and it brings to my mind abstract expressionism. Creating art by chance, by randomisation, I think that the art is not only defined by its finished product, but also by its process, and the moments that go into making it.