Friday, February 24, 2012

Beyond Dead

The term for ironing the texture, stretch, and loft out of acrylic fiber is killing. Killed acrylic had good drape and feels smooth and almost silky. A few months ago, I started to experiment with the idea of heat setting acrylic swatches into more interesting textures than their usual flat form.

This pink swatch is in a fold pattern called a Miura-Ori. It was ironed into folds in the compact position on top. when you open it up, the crease pattern is visible. Because of the shininess of the yarn after ironing, the folds really shine in the sunlight.

This second piece in aquamarine yarn has an unstructured texture. It was crumpled and baked to get this unusual, almost organic topography. It almost looks like the mountains on a map. I hit one side with green Montana Gold  spray paint to create a different effect on the back. The shine of the yarn is really nice with this texture, and the crumpled effect creates an elasticity in the fabric.

The goal of these swatches was to take a fiber which is not generally considered desirable and to transform it into something where the artificiality and cheapness become positive attributes. These two effects can only be achieved with a synthetic fiber  and are quite beautiful. I'm thinking up some patterns that might use this sort of textile, so if you like the look and have some ideas, please comment.

These techniques are going to be the topic of a tutorial which shows how to heat your acrylic safely and with style. Hope you all liked the examples.


  1. these are so beautiful, i have killed acidentially a few times and pondered on how far it could be long will they hold their shape? it would be so neat to do that with hats or sweaters ooooh and textural wall sculptures! I can't wait for your tutorials ^_^ so i can learn how to do it properly

  2. Wow, what an interesting effect!

  3. I searched for, but could not find this tutorial. Might I have the link?

  4. I did not publish one because of safety hazards of heating acrylic yarn in a non ventilated space.

    You can safely iron folds into acrylic with an iron on medium heat.


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