Thermoplastics

Molding plastic into 3D patterns with heat and moisture.

Materials

100% polyester fabric, materials for molding such as marbles, coins, wood

Aluminium foil, strings, rubber bands

Instructions

  1. Wrap the fabric around the objects and tightly secure them with strings or rubber bands.
  2. Decide on the layout of the design and wrap the aluminium foil around it.
  3. Put it in the boiling water of around 180 degrees Celsius for 1 hour.
  4. Remove and let it cool before unwrapping the foils and objects.

Caution: Do not place the shaped fabric into the washing machine or it will lose its shape.

Samples

Wonderful samples of both success and failed experiments were shown. The origami explorations are very intriguing for I stan origami.

The chiffon polyester creates such bouncy textures. The opacity makes it ideal for a comfortable dress or bag.

I questioned the need to cover the fabric with aluminium foil. The pictures shows the problems faced without it. A consistent fold pressure and colour can only be achieved by wrapping an extra layer of aluminium foil.

Explorations

I tied these coins with a thread as I have forgotten to bring my rubber bands. I find that thread offers better control in tension and orientation of the object. Whereas the rubber band is thick and does not provide much precision in object layout.

I first tried to lay them flat like mushroom caps.

Next, I tried making the coins stand like butterfly wings.

Preparation for boiling.

It looks the same as how I arrange it! It’s pretty fascinating. I thought the boiling process will shrink or deform it, yet it captures the exact pattern I made.

Origami

I designed this origami with rhino and trace it out on two-piece of papers.

These paper will sandwich the fabric like a double mold.

Secure the sheets of paper tightly with staple or stitches. Stapling is a fast solution while sewing them is a better method to capture all the edges.

Final outcome! I overlay two organza to achieve this beautiful colourful look. However, the paper becomes mushy and lost the form in the water. I thought it looks great as the swirl is still visible. Perhaps I will experiment with Yupo paper next time. This special paper can retain the origami pattern even after several boils.

Conclusion

I am definitely in love with this technique for its simplistic yet gorgeous outcome. The potential to bring out the 3D form in a flat surface.

Applications

A textured screen panels.

SURFACE NOTION on Instagram: “Shibori is an ancient Japanese art where the artist shapes cloth in order to create patterns and textures. The word itself means to wring,…” #fabricmanipulation Shibori is an ancient Japanese art where the artist shapes cloth in order to create patterns and textures. The word itself means to wring,…

Mariko Kusumoto: Luminous Fiber Sculpture & Jewellery – THE FIBER STUDIO

I love this jewellery! So whimsical and playful.