How to Make a Collagraph for Monoprinting Fabric

If you want to give your art quilts or fiber art a unique design, one of the easiest ways is with fabric painting and surface design techniques.  And one of the simplest ways to apply fabric paints or inks in a unique way is with monoprinting.

fiber art with monoprinting
Margarita Korioth made a monoprint on fabric
with a collagraph plate she created .

In the February/March 2013 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine, Margarita Korioth demonstrates how to create a monoprint on fabric with a collagraph plate. A collagraph is essentially a raised collage that serves as a printing plate. Instead of carving into the plate, you build up the surface with collage elements. You can use anything from cardboard or fun foam cutouts to found objects to build up the surface design on the plate.

Here is an excerpt from Margarita's article, explaining how to make a durable collagraph plate. Margarita writes:

1. Using a pen, draw the design you want to print on the unprinted side of a piece cardboard. For my examples, I drew floral designs, vases, and leaves. Once you are satisfied with your design, cut the individual components from the cardboard.

2. Arrange the cut pieces on the unprinted side of the other piece of cardboard and glue them in place.

Consider adding more texture to the collagraph plate by gluing string onto the design. Keep in mind that whatever is glued to the collagraph plate will be printed, so make your designs interesting with different shapes and textures.

Tip: If you add string to your collagraph plate, first glue the cut shapes to the plate and then glue the string.

3. Set aside the collagraph plate and allow it to dry thoroughly. This may take several hours.

4. Cover the entire design side of the plate with 2 coats of liquid gel medium, being careful to put an even coat over the surface of the design. Be sure to let the gel medium dry completely between coats.

flower collagraph monoprints on fabric
A collagraph monoprint can be made from
a small, shaped plate.

5. Cover the back side of the plate with 1 coat of gel medium. Allow the plate to dry completely.

Now you have a durable plate for printing on fabric (or paper).

Margarita demonstrates the entire collagraph printing process and gives tips on monprinting with gelatin plates, in the February/March issue of Quilting Arts.

I hope you enjoy learning about her process and the unique look it gives her quilt art as much as I did and consider trying this technique yourself.

P.S. Have you made monoprints on fabric? What method did you use, and how did it come out? Describe your experience and any tips you have below.

Other topics you may enjoy:


Monoprinting & Screenprinting, Quilting Daily Blog

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