Yesterday I experimented a bit with TAP transfers to fabric.  Today I wanted to test the results of using xylene solvent in the form a marker.  I used the colorless blender Chartpak Marker.

You must  use images printed out on a toner copier. It would have been nice to test the same images I used yesterday, but all my printers are ink jet. So I used clip art that had been printed out previously on a toner copier.

Images will be reversed so if you want them to appear as the original, you must flip the image prior to printing them out. You tape down your image onto the fabric background and rub the marker across the backside of your image.

Very quickly you will see the image appear on the backside of the paper.

Next you burnish the backside of the paper with something like a credit card, back of a spoon, small squeegee or bone folder. Then remove the paper and tape.

The two images at the top of the fabric were color photos that were transferred with TAP.  The four images at the bottom were transferred by the Chartpak Blender Marker.

It is less expensive to use the Chartpak Marker as they cost a little more than $2.00 per marker (2.27 each online at Dick Blick as I write this) and TAP is 12.95 for five 8.5 by 11 sheets.  However, the images transferred with TAP are more crisp and transferred more completely.  There is less crispness and somewhat uneven edges with the Marker. In today’s test I used vintage images on a dark background so the less crisp images worked well.

Another consideration is safety and odor.  I don’t know how the paper in TAP is prepared, but undoubted it contains chemicals that release the images when heated and it makes sense that the same chemicals would also be released into the air.  Certainly good ventilation would be desirable.  It would be good to have more information about the chemicals used in TAP.  When you use the Chartpak blender Markers you are immediately conscious that you are using chemicals as the smell is very strong. After I used the markers I turned on the fan, opened the doors and went to my computer to look up Xylene.  For more info  you can read the US Department of Labor’s Occupational and Health Safety Guideline for Xylene. I plan to continue to use both methods depending on the nature of the project I am working on, however in the future I will use some combination of being outdoors, having good ventilation and/or using a respirator.

©Copyright 2011

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