Hello 2011 and hello to you!
For my first post of the new year I really wanted to do a review of a book that I recently purchased -- SUKIE - IRON ONS. As cute and interesting as the designs are I am sad to tell you I was sorely disappointed with this book.
The overall book design is very cute with its self closure and the the mention of using environmentally responsible paper is a draw. Most of the characters and images are pretty wonderful however there are a sprinkling of a few images which are disturbing and don't fit in with the overall 'cute-sey-ness'.
The image transfers in SUKIE are not your typical plastic coated designs. Instead they are more like ink transfers -- or stains -- which the book never mentions or distinguishes, although they do have 3 pages of 'how to'. What seems to be missing from the how to section is care for the fabric prior to ironing-on images and how to care for the fabric once the image has been ironed on.
I read some reviews for SUKIE on Amazon and noticed how many mentioned that the images washed right off or faded considerably. At this time I have not yet washed my items so, I will have to comment later on how well the image holds up to regular washing/washing with oxyclean and drying...
Here is what I did do with SUKIE thus far: I started with light colored a shirt that was washed/dried WITHOUT softeners to improve image transfer and I put cardboard between the layers of fabric, as the ink soaks right through and could damage the back of the garment.
I chose a mauve hedge hog to experiment with, as it was small and cute. I followed the directions SUKIE suggested for a quality image transfer, very high heat, pressing hard and making small circles with the iron... Alas, I was not happy when I removed the paper and peeked at the image.
Why did I put it on the front of my shirt?!
It looked more like a jam splotch than a spiky outline of a hedgehog... I guess the small circular motion of the iron cause the image to become blurred and the tiny dot of an eye was lost entirely. I don't have a photo of it because I ended up covering it with white acrylic paint and a stencil of a dragon from a different book called Stencil Me In by Marthe Le Van...
So, after a night of sleep I decided to write this review and take photo documents....
Good thing I slept on it because then I got to wondering how to get the transfer to adhere cleanly and more permanently? I had to take control! If I wanted "iron-ons" it looked like I was going to have to make them...
My solution: I have a stash of 'dark t-shirt transfer paper' which I usually run through my printer to ink it up... maybe its similar to SUKIE ink?! Brain storm! I decided to experiment with a new beige colored hedgehog and iron that image to the dark transfer paper! I had to slowly peel the image away from transfer paper it looked like the ink was absorbed right into the plastic so that was promising. Taking the new version I cut around the image; peeled backing away; applied it to the fabric - now it can go on light & dark fabrics! Iron in place & I WIN! As you can see in this image at the top it works!
The two squirrels in the above image are my two attempts at using light t-shirt image transfer paper. I realize that the way light t-shirt transfer paper works is very different to the dark t-shirt transfer paper but I had to try. Looking at the top squirrel you can see how it became adhered to the paper and became torn when I tried peeling it way. The brown smudge is evidence of how it transfers = not very well. The bottom squirrel seemed a much better transfer to the light transfer paper as the ink is well absorbed into the plastic and to the left you can see it did not transfer very well at all as the in transfered over but not the plastic coating...
I decided to try another image on the dark transfer paper and got very good results! On the left is the SUKIE ink image and on the right is how the ink transfered to the dark iron-on transfer paper! Not too shabby! Simply cut the SUKIE image out and cut out a similar size of the dark transfer paper. Place face to face and press (NO swirling of the iron) for a few seconds with a hot iron (cotton setting) wait for it to cool then gently peel apart.
I cut around the image... If you try this don't forget to remove the paper backing from the image after trimming. I like to use a pin to help separate the two layers without damaging it. This next image shows the backing on the left, and the image on the right which is under the 'special paper' that comes with dark transfer paper kit, you are meant to cover the image with it in order to iron it -- I've tried other papers and none work... so don't loose yours ;)
Here is the final product! A bit of white is showing and evident fading at the top but all in all I'm very pleased!
Well, that is all for now. I hope that if you have purchased SUKIE that this post can help you salvage it. Feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, constructive criticisms or ideas with me on this topic. I'd love to hear from you about your experience with SUKIE or iron-on's.
Best wishes for a happy and safe 2011,
Effy of Blueberry Blonde