Top-left: Uncolored heavy gel (matte) stenciled on satin.
Top-right: Uncolored glass bead gel.
Bottom: Pumice mixed with luster/pearl powders and heavy gel (gloss and matte)
all stenciled onto dyed cotton poplin.
For many creative textile artists, quilters, and embroiderers there is a need to be continually creating new surfaces with rich and exciting textures. Many artists dye and print their own fabrics, while some create textured surfaces by bonding and fusing fabrics, or even adding puff pastes. In addition to these embellishments, there is the wonderful world of acrylic texture gels, which can also be applied to any porous surface.
Pébéo gel is transparent, non-yellowing acrylic gel medium. When taken from the jar gel mediums appear thick and milky, but when left to dry they become firm and either transparent or opaque, depending on the finish. Each gel has a different finish—gloss, transparent, matte, or opaque—and that becomes more apparent as it dries.
Initial observation of these gels is not an inspirational moment. The jars are filled with opaque, solid white gel and labeled with dull descriptions. Do not be discouraged—a little persistence and that white opaque gel medium can change into a beautiful fabric embellishment.
How can you use Pébéo gel and other acrylic gel mediums?
Gels can be applied using a variety of methods; however it's important to remember that the gel is soft when wet and can be easily flattened. Select the method that will leave the right amount of gel raised on the fabric surface, and always let the fabric dry completely. Here are a few of our favorite methods for application:
- Spread the gels using a small palette knife or a glue spreader over a simple stencil, either cut in acetate, stiff plastic, or smooth lightweight card stock.
- Apply the gel directly with a printing brayer to create interesting
- Use a printing block or bold stamp. Apply the gel thickly to the block or stamp and quickly print the block by lightly pressing it onto the fabric surface.
- Use a palette knife to apply the
gel directly to the fabric or paper.
Excerpt from Quilting Arts Magazine, Fall 2004
When you're ready for more, including how to add color, check out the article "Acrylic Texture Gels" by Ruth Isset in Quilting Arts Magazine Fall 2004.