Influenced by the Preen Spring/Summer collection I started taking photographs of peonies. To me, the ultimate spring/summer flower. They are in gardens and shops in May and June, and they were my flower (with roses) for my June wedding. They are in my mother’s garden, and although they cost around £5 or £6 a bunch, we often have them in the house in June.
I then experimented with pixelating my photographs. This meant saving them in their smallest dimensions, then cropping them to the tiniest size. This little photograph is then scaled up using the zoom button. It pixellates! Then, on my computer, I just play with the exposure, lightness, coolness, saturation and other buttons to create a harmonious and attractive colour scheme. I saved the files and finally printed them out on the dye-sublimation printer. This uses specially coated paper that can accept the sublimated ink. Once the image is printed it can be transferred onto the synthetic (at least 60 per cent synthetic content) fabric, using the heat press. Under the high temperature and pressure, the dye turns to a gas and permeates the fabric, and then solidifies into its fibers. The fabric is permeantly dyed and can be washed without damaging the quality of the image. We used the Richoh GX7000 Sublijet-R system.
As the papers are very small (A4) I decided to make a very small garment, and used my new shorts pattern for this project. I drew the pattern pieces on to the fabric using a washable felt tip and then printed two papers onto each section, realising there would be quite a lot of white surrounding the pattern, but deciding I could live with that for experimental purposes.
Here are the pieces after printing and cutting out.
Overall a great effect. It’s just what I wanted, at this stage. It shows what is possible.