Sunday, March 13, 2011

Luminara Unduli, the knee buster

I recently started one of this year’s big projects, which is Luminara’s robe. It’s not a big project only because of its size, but also in the way I’m going to execute it. I thought that I would now, after making some progress clear out why the “Project Luminara” is big and why it got a slightly barbaric nickname.

I’ve wrote about searching right fabrics for our Jedi duo’s robes some time ago. While with Barriss I got really close to what I was looking for, the selections in fabric stores didn’t fill the requirements of what I visualized to be the correct or acceptable material for Luminara. And I went through few of them in the bigger cities in Southern Finland. In the end I chose wool flannel, because it seemed like a good bargain and the brown was subtle enough to act as a background for the upcoming pattern.

First try out with the possible construction modeled on a mannequin.

The original robe material for the movies seems like it was woven. I never thought weaving it as an option, if anyone wonders. I’m not that good with looms or that crazy. Printing was the first option from the start. My dear home town doesn’t have good craft store, so it was time to travel, again.

I went to visit Yoki on my free days, found a shop I was looking for and fell in love a little. It had like… everything! And the staff was really helpful. It’s been years from my last bigger scale printing experience, so I happily took notes from professionals. I ended up dragging along three kilos of printing emulsion next to smaller containers of black pigment and pearl cover paste in plain and blue for Barriss’ cape. No casualties on this stage yet, if sore neck is not included.

No casualties occurred when I started to cut the templates for the print either. I was not going to use a screen or a stencil; instead I cut wormy and bulky pieces out from clear plastic film (Thank you for clearing the word out, Batsy!). These pieces I placed randomly on the fabric to create the pattern. Compared to screen printing, I chose this slightly slower method, because I can skip the screen washing and as long as I’m able to keep the printing space prepared, I can work when ever I feel like it. When the tools you are working with is the fabric print and a piece of foam it’s really quick to pull them out, work a while and then be going. For example, one morning I arranged the plastic pieces on the fabric while I waited my eye liner to dry. Small progress is progress still.

The printing is the brutal knee buster! I work on the floor, because my sewing table is not nearly big enough for five meters of fabric. If I want to stand up, I’ll need to stretch for few minutes before my left knee feels like cooperating. Either the working posture is horrible or I’m just getting old.

I calculated that with this speed and overlapping projects I’m ready in two weeks with the printing. Then I’m going to dye the whole fabric to make it darker and possibly if I feel like it, create more texture to the robe with needle felting. Big project is big. And I’m wearing a support bandage on my knee.

1 comment:

  1. Kontaktimuovi = clear plastic film

    Best of luck to your knees ;-)