Colours to dye for

27th June 1997 at 01:00
Berol Water Based Screen Printing Ink 500ml 8 colours Pounds 6 + VAT each. Berol Textile Screen Printing Ink 500ml 8 colours Pounds 6 + VAT each.

Berol Fabric Painting Concentrated Batik Dye. 500ml set of 10 colours, Pounds 48 + VAT. Sanford UK, Berol House, Oldmedow Road, King's Lynn Norfolk PE30 4JR Tel: 01553 761221. Stand 50

Art is not simply painting and drawing. Quite rightly, at all key stages, the national curriculum for art expects all pupils to use a wide range of media and techniques. Many of these methods, such as screen printing, require a very precise way of working which is good to encourage.

One thing which discourages schools from embarking on screen printing is the difficulty of clearing up afterwards. It traditionally requires spirit-based inks, which can cause health and safety problems, are not kind to the environment, have unpleasant odours and can permanently damage clothing. A new water-based, screen printing ink from Berol has been designed to overcome these disadvantages. As it is easy to clean, even the youngest of pupils can try screen printing. The coverage of the ink is good, with strong opaque pigments, which intermix easily. Overprinting of colours is also good. Best results are achieved when thicker paper is used to avoid wrinkling. Printing on paper allows several images to be produced, enabling the pupil to take a copy home, and the school also has one for display. If repeat patterns are designed, printing on fabric may be a better option, creating a wall hanging, scarf, or material to be made into a simple garment. A one-off image for a T-shirt or other item of clothing could also be created.

Screen printing on fabric needs a different ink. To enable a garment to be washed, you need an ink which can be permanently fixed to the fabric. With Berol Textile Screen Printing Ink, which is also water based, this can be achieved by simply ironing the fabric. The ink is of the same high quality as the paper printing product. Although similar inks are available from other manufacturers, the Berol products are of high quality and a little ink goes a long way.

Another possibility for designing on fabric is to dye material using the batik method. This ancient Indonesian technique requires a design put on to material using hot wax. The fabric is then dyed. Colours are built up by adding more wax and re-dying. For more detailed work a tool called a tjanting is required, which allows a fine dribble of hot wax to be accurately placed on the design. After dying wax is removed by placing the material in boiling water. Berol Fabric Painting Concentrated Batik Dye can be diluted and or mixed with other colours to achieve immensely subtle results. It can also be used directly as a fabric paint. Although the dyes will wash out with water, care must be taken as clothes, hands and even tables may get stained. Batik work is therefore not suitable for the youngest of pupils.

Working with these inks and dyes will lead to dynamic and successful work at all levels from primary through to sixth form.

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