I needed to research using a soldering iron to further my investigations for Assignment 2 of my A Textiles Vocabulary course. What a boon to find Margaret Beal’s work!
I purchased her New Ideas in Fusing Fabric: Creative cutting, bonding and mark-making with the soldering iron (2013) published by Batsford, one of their wonderful series of fabric covered textile art books.
After an introduction to fabrics, backgrounds and tools suitable for use with the soldering iron, Margaret steps through a number of techniques using the soldering iron, each with an illustrated project and sumptuous photographs. These include:
1. Tacking and basting multiple layers with a soldering iron “running stitch”;
2. Cutting with the soldering iron using rulers and templates;
3. Cutting and simultaneously creating a seam;
4. Decorative scoring;
5. Making crinkly edges rather than straight scored edges;
6. Layering, a whole series of techniques to create negative space, fuse pieces to a backing fabric and make interesting cut-outs;
8. Fusing fabric to non-fabric backgrounds (for example paper, card);
9. Creating rigidity with multiple layers;
10. Capturing motifs and threads between layers in seams (for example fine organza ribbons and loops).
11. Selectively uncovering layers.
I practiced many of these techniques before applying them to my project and found the instructions beautifully explanatory. The techniques also enabled me to solve a number of problems I had encountered in my own experimentation, so I didn’t have to re-invent the wheel. The examples also inspired me, and soon I was applying some of the ideas to my own project. There are so many jumping off points in this book for your textiles art.
The latter part of the book considers three-dimensional effects, as well as more advanced applications, all with projects.
This book has been an invaluable resource for me; highly recommended.
Beal, M. (2013). Fusing Fabric: Creative cutting, bonding and mark-making with the soldering iron
Batsford (Pavilion Books Company): London