Fibre Etch | week 10

Devoré is a type of fibre etching technique use primarily on velvet. It creates decorative effects by removing the natural plant fibres from fabric blends. This process leaves behind only the semi-transparent synthetic fibres, creating contrasts between the two distinct integrated textures. Devoré, from the French verb dévorer, is an apt name for this technique as the fibre etch eats away the natural cellulose fibres.

Fibre etching can be achieved on a variety of materials such as fabric, paper and wood. Fibre-etched fabric is typically found in clothes, furniture covers, upholstery etc.

Lovely samples we saw in class:
More Devoré examples!
Materials needed

We experimented with Devoré using silk viscose velvet. It is very smooth with loose, fine fibres. 

  • Fabric blend such as silk viscose velvet
  • Fibre etch remover gel
  • Silkscreen with design and Squeegee (optional)
  • Paintbrushes to paint on free hand designs

Print the design onto the fabric blend like we would do for a normal silkscreen print by adding the gel and running the squeegee with pressure over the surface.

Velvet with design (the camera can’t pick up the dark fabric)
Velvet with silkscreen printed design

(The velvet is a dark navy so the camera has trouble picking it up.)

Alternatively, paint on a design freehand.

Leave the fibre etch gel to dry.  Once completely dry, iron the fabric till the painted areas become stiff and slightly burnt. Either wash or brush the lose fibres off to reveal the synthetic fibres underneath.

Loose fibres after ironing

This double textured fabric is delicate and detailed. The scientific process by which the fibres are eliminated is also very interesting.

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