I've been itching to get back to carving my own rubber stamps, a craft I hadn't done in so long that I didn't even known Staedtler had stopped making the huge 3" x 5" white Mars plastic erasers I used to use. So after finding a new medium, I decided I would celebrate the upcoming Olympics in London, and the Queen's Jubilee, by carving a British flag for hand-stamping fabric. I also thought it would be great start with some fabric that could be mass-produced but still had that handmade look. Below are photos of my process.
First, to make sure I had an accurate image, I found details online that gave the exact dimensions and proportions of the true Union Jack flag. I had the picture in my head of using the final fabric on a small pillow, so I sized the flag image so it would look nice reproduced on a pillow with three images across, which also allowed it to fit on my carving block.
After printing the image in reverse and cutting it out, I used rubber cement to adhere it to the carving block. Then I carved the stamp with my X-acto knife and peeled off any remaining image paper from the stamp.
I dug out my brayer from the "printmaking" drawer, found a small piece of glass from an old picture frame, and rolled the brayer over black ink (mixed with a bit of extender), and then rolled the ink onto the stamp.
Even though I couldn't resist mass producing the image, I still wanted it to have that hand-stamped-on-fabric look. So I made several impressions on a piece of scrap white cotton and hung it up to dry. Once dry, I scanned the images at high resolution, trying to pick up as much of the fabric texture as possible.
I cropped out the three images I thought worked the best and colorized them...
...and then produced the pattern, in Photoshop.
Over the weekend I received a sample swatch and am quite happy with how the images reproduced. What do you think?
I also applied one of the images to iPhone cases and skins for Society6: