I was first introduced to Angelina fibers way back when I was spinning — the fibers were used to give the yarn a shimmer and sparkle. Over the last several years I have used Angelina differently by creating a sheet of fabric to cut, sew and embellish with. Angelina is great in any project that could use a bit of shine, glitz or iridescence.
Basic instructions are at the bottom of this post for creating flat sheets of Angelina “fabric.” As promised in our weekly enewsletter, I’m covering another way to add texture and use Angelina in your surface design projects: laying the fibers over a rubber stamp or a wooden printing block, and embossing the Angelina with the stamp shape.
Artistic Artifacts recently received rubber stamps that were created especially for the purpose of using with Angelina. They are deeply etched and simple in design. (Each stamp shipment includes brief instructions on creating Angelina appliqués).
In this posting I am working with the small size dragonfly stamp.
While it isn’t necessary to do so, I prefer to ink the stamp, which helps the final embossing to stand out more. In the example I photographed here, I used a black stamp pad so that it would show. Normally I would work to coordinate, or contrast, with the color of the Angelina I’m, depending on my project.
Angelina fibers have been loosely placed over the inked stamp, placed face up.
Here I’ve pulled another portion of my teflon sheet on top of the Angelina and rubberstamp. Using the “silk” heat setting on my iron, I iron quickly, and check to see if the fibers have bonded. When creating a sheet of Angelina (see below) you will want to glide the iron over the fibers, but when imprinting a stamp shape, you instead want to sort of “pat” the iron down and/or hold it briefly in place.
Overheated Angelina will lose its shine and colors can change, so just a few seconds, and lower temperatures, are all that is necessary when ironing. Remember, it’s better to check for bonding after a few seconds, and if needed iron again, than to toss out Angelina that has been burned to an ugly color!
When you can see the shape of the stamp through the Angelina, then you are done.
Above, Angelina dragonfly trimmed and ready for embellishment.
Add a few sequins with beads.
Another way to use Angelina is to cut shapes, as I did on my Valentine Postcards. Some would say that at this stage (photo below) they were ready to mail, but I thought they were still a little boring.
To give them some oomph and texture, I added netting, as well as embossed Angelina heart appliqués.
Before (left below) and after (right):
Much flashier I think!
And now ready to mail!
Creating Angelina Fabric Sheets
As you can see in my photos above, I use my trusty teflon/fiberglass non-stick ironing and craft sheets to create my sheets of Angelina fabric. Because you are using low temperatures and ironing for just a few seconds, you can also use tissue paper, paper towels, tracing paper or kitchen parchment.
Spread Angelina fibers into an even layer on the bottom part of the teflon sheet, and fold over the other half of the sheet or otherwise cover the fiber. Use an iron set at approximately 225 degrees Fahrenheit and pass it over the covered fibers for a few seconds. Angelina fibers will fuse to each other; they do not stick to other fabrics or surfaces.
Fused Angelina fabric can be cut with scissors or rotary cutters and like any fabric can be sewn or glued to other surfaces, including clothing, with your sewing machine, hand stitching, fusible web or other adhesives.
The more fibers used, the thicker the piece of fabric created, and you can add additional layers (and colors) of Angelina to a wispy sheet, building it up as desired. Fabric snippets, threads, yarns, fine wire and more can be trapped between layers of Angelina fiber to create texture and visual interest.