Quietfire Design's
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Colouring Tyvek*
©2007 Suzanne Cannon

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This article first appeared in the December 2004 byhand Newsletter

I was introduced to Tyvek many years ago and have used it extensively for book hinges.

But what is Tyvek?

It's a tough, durable sheet product, stronger than paper and more versatile than fabrics. It's made from high-density polyethylene fibers which combine some of the properties of paper, film and cloth. It is rip and water-resistant. And it looks amazing when you add colour to it. The colour enhances the fibres in the sheet. Here is how I did this fishy. It'll go on the front of a card....

Make sure your Tyvek is laying on something that won't mind getting coloured! Slather the surface with clean water. Drop one drop of Acrylic Ink on the surface of the paper.

Spread it with a brush (not one of your good watercolour brushes! Don't forget this is acrylic!).

Add another colour of acrylic ink. I used blues and purple for this sheet. Spread the ink and mix it in some places with the other colour.

Repeat with the violet ink - one drop is plenty of colour - this stuff is intense!

Spread to your content! Try not to mix the colours completely, you want patches of true colour here and there.

Just in case you believe Tyvek is waterproof - this is the surface of my glass covered drafting table after I remove the Tyvek sheet!

Allow the sheet to dry.

A warning about Tyvek.
I have used Tyvek to wrap the cover boards of books - if the book gets warm, the Tyvek will begin to melt and the cover will be ruined!

I used Colorbox Crafters Ink to stamp the Fred Mullet fish. The colour was Midnight. Don't heat set or emboss the design!! The Tyvek will melt (which is another fun project itself!).

The ink will take a while to dry....

Cut your artwork to size and use double sided tape to adhere it to a card!

TyvekŪ is basically a synthetic paper....

TyvekŪ is the DuPont brand name for spunbonded olefin. DuPont Tyvek offers the best characteristics of paper, film, and fabric in one material. It's light but incredibly strong, so don't expect to tear it to get a fuzzy edge! You may have seen envelopes made from Tyvek which are almost indestructable.

Why does the crafter enjoy using Tyvek? Well it's those lovely fibre swirls you can see running through the sheet that make it so interesting. When you treat Tyvek with acrylic ink, it absorbs the colour but you can still see the fibres! Tyvek has an extremely smooth surface and although it is water-resistant, it isn't waterproof.

When heated, Tyvek will curl and melt. It is advised to take care when melting Tyvek and not breath in any fumes. It's ultimate shape is quite unpredictable!




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