Monday, February 04, 2008

Fusing plastic bags

Now I have given it a try... and it is fascinating.
I have fused one ordinary shopping bag, 8 layers and very nice material. I fused pieces of two heavy-duty plastic bags, 6 layers, and was very pleased with results.

The green one has pieces of heavy-duty plastic bag fused on top of 6-layer-fuse.

Now, the diamond shapes... those diamonds come from a dog food bag. The pieces fused very nicely together with the 6-layer plastic, but because there's metal foil in the dog food bag, the pieces wouldn't shrink as the 6-layer material did... It was also hard to place the pieces nicely, and they curled violently during fusing. But the result is interesting...
There's a fabric patterning technique that works on the shrinking capacity of man-made fibers. I'm not quite sure of how it works... I suppose you weave a fabric with half cotton and half some polyamid or something, and "print" it with heat - the polyamid will shrink, the cotton won't, and you'll end up with fabric that has "smooth" pattern on "wrinkled" base. This dog-food-bag experiment reminds me of those...
I also wonder how yet another layer of plastic, this time see-through bag, on top of that would effect the result. And what if I fuse the base plastic first, or what if I fuse in a layer of paper...

The material isn't very attractive in itself. Reminds me of IKEA's big blue and yellow bags. I doubt I want a raincoat and sou'wester of this material. (Sou'wester - a seaman storm hat made of oil-cloth. It has a wide brim that's wider in the neck. I have a pattern for one somewhere... I'll post it when I find it. It's not rocket science and not patented or copyrighted.)

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