Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Step by step guide to putting together Inkjet Printed Cloth Flags

Hi here's a brief guide to putting together cloth flags. Firstly there's two golden rules and these are be patient and keep your hands clean. 

The image above is not hand painted and has been borrowed from Google and other  quartering the flag and some black lines to emphasis the quartering and the addition  of some colour to fill the two halves of the flag  where it wraps around the pole it's unaltered. However I have made  a schoolboy error and forgot to reverse the obverse of the flag. 

The Cloth sheets come with an inkjet friendly coating on one side of the sheet. The flag above has been printed on a standard Inkjet Desktop Printer using the Dark, High Quality and Gloss Photo settings  and having the paper set at gloss photo paper.

In short due to the highly absorbent nature of the cloth you need to get plenty of ink onto the sheet. Once printed leave the flag to dry for at least 30 mins as the image is prone to scratching  whilst it is drying, this is especially true of the sheets that come with a backing sheet adhered to them.

After the sheet has dried give the flag one or two very light coats of spray varnish, Humbrol or Plasticode clear are ideal for this, then leave the flag to dry , an hour is ideal.  NB don't use brush on varnish as this will cause the image to bleed. 

Paint the reverse with white acrylic paint, leave to dry

putting the cloth flags together I find Pritt stick or similar the best to use, just cut the flag out with a sharp craft knife and straight edge (a blunt one will tear and stretch the sheet) then fold the flag in half. Apply the glue to one side of the unprinted image and leave for a couple of minutes to get tacky. 

stick together using a light source; usually the window, to line it up. finally leave the flag to dry and once it has you can shape it, see below:

Paint the edges of the flag to match the field as there's nothing worse that bits of white showing on a finished flag. At this stage it's worth running a bit of paint up edge where the flag is wrapped around the pole as due to the nature of the weave of the cloth the printable coating can crack when stressed; painting this area also helps to highlight and gives a quality touch to the finished flag.

The finished cloth flag: D'Este family from around 1450.

3 comments:

  1. Pete,
    You do know you put yourself out of business doing this tutorial.
    Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Robbie, I hope not, cheers Pete

    ReplyDelete