Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Experimenting with plate wiping fabric.

My curiosity was piqued recently when I was in my local fabric store and noticed that there was an interfacing that had a similar feel to the Akua wiping fabric. I decided to buy a few yards and experiment.

You can see the similarity between the two. Same "feel" but the interfacing has a slightly denser weave.

Akua wiping fabric on the left, interfacing on the right.
Then I noticed that used clothes dryer sheets are of a similar quality to the Akua wiping fabric.
Left: Akua fabric, bottom: interfacing, right: dryer sheet.
All three options ended up working quite well. The interfacing, with its denser weave, worked best for the initial wiping of the plate; pushing the ink into the grooves and moving ink around to cover the plate. You can see here that the ink sits mostly on the surface of the interfacing.

The dryer sheets worked very much like the Akua wiping fabric since the weave is similar. Granted the dryer sheets are small but it's easy to wad up a bunch of them and they work well on small plates or for final spot wiping. However, they wouldn't hold up for long periods of printing because after a few uses I could begin to see the surface break down.

Dryer clothes softening sheet.
The bottom line is that the Akua fabric is obviously the superior wiping choice but if you're out of it and need something in a pinch, or to supplement what you already use, the interfacing and dryer sheets will get the job done. Also, since used dryer sheets are free, they would serve an an inexpensive option if you were doing a printing project with an elementary or high school class and your budget didn't allow for lots of materials and equipment.

Anyway, this experiment was well worth the time.

Akua Wiping Fabric

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