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Surface Designer's Handbook
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Surface Designer's Handbook [Kindle Edition]

Holly Brackmann
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Beginning with studio practices and safety rules, this information-packed handbook is appropriate for both newcomers and experienced dyers but assumes that readers have a serious interest in textile design. An overview of dyeing starts with fibers and fabrics and discusses all aspects of the dyes favored by textile studios - fiber reactive, acid, vat, and disperse - before explaining discharging, screen printing, monoprinting, stamping, stenciling, resist dyeing, dévoré, and painting. Would-be fabric artists are advised along the way to identify a personal approach to dyeing - free spirit? rule-follower? - and color photographs of work by today's top fiber artists elucidate prevailing styles. Recipes and techniques are accompanied by step-by-step instructions with photographs. Ten appendices include a worksheet for recording chemicals, procedures, and costs for all projects; a guide to washing fabric; descriptions of stock solutions, thickeners, and steaming; a metric conversion table; and a guide to water temperatures.

Editorial Reviews


"The definitive guide to applying color to fabric using dye materials, paints, printing and resist techniques." —

"Beautiful professional photographs of dyed fabrics and art pieces are spread throughout the book." — Paula Burch's All About Hand Dyeing

"Brackmann's professional and well-designed end results don't look like a technique-exploring craft project...It will inspire you to immediately take up some form of surface design." — The Shuttle Scuttle

"A visual as well as intellectual feast." — Textile Fibre Forum

"One of the best books we've seen on the topic of altering fabrics through dyeing, printing, and painting." — Quilting Arts Magazine

"It will teach you to use the right tools and techniques to add your own designs to silk, cotton, wool, and more." — Quilter's Newsletter Magazine

"Detailed instruction in the many techniques of dyeing and embellishing cloth...profusely illustrated with vivid process shots." — American Craft

"Looking for nonstop inspiration? Interweave Press' The Surface Designer's Handbook should be the first stop on your journey." — Quilter's World

About the Author

Holly Brackmann is a professor of textiles and art history at Mendocino College whose designs have appeared in Handwoven; Surface Design Journal; Surface Design Newsletter; Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot; and Weavers. She lives in Ukiah, California.

Product Details

  • File Size: 12828 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Interweave; Spi edition (March 10, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DH40UOM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,998 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Reference that Really Works October 18, 2006
I have learned so much from this book. Holly Brackmann explains not only the how-to aspect of surface design in incredible detail & easy-to-follow steps, but also the how-it-works aspect of the processes. She begins her book with an all-important chapter on safety and then goes on to explain dyes, fibers & fabrics, followed by a chapter on color. Then she gets into explaining not only dyes (e.g., fiber-reactive, acid, vat, and disperse), but also discharging, screen printing, monoprinting, stamping, stenciling, resists, devore, textile painting, & embellishments. I love the clear instructions of the processes and the amazing photos, but what I love the most is that she empowers the user to explore and become profient in the processes. That empowering of the student is the mark of a great teacher.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book! July 18, 2007
Holly Brackmann's new book The Surface Designer's Handbook is long over-due and I have ordered it as the textbook for all my fibers classes. As soon as it arrived my students all wanted their own personal copy so several of them purchased it outright just on sight alone. The spiral binding is excellent and the extent of the techniques covered is wonderful. I teach both beginners and advanced fibers students and this book has everything we need as a textbook.

I use it myself for my own work and find it very helpful, well organized and thorough. The information about making color cards with diluted MX dye on watercolor paper is worth the selling price all by itself. It is a technique I knew nothing about and I am thrilled to learn about it. It has saved hours and hours of dye testing time.

In my classes we had been using Kate Wells' book Fabric Dyeing and Printing and prior to that, Proctor and Lew's Surface Design for Fabric. Now, 16 years later, Holly's excellent book has arrived and is the handbook of the hour. It is up to date, comprehensive and thorough, and should be in everyone's library that works with dyes, textile paints and cloth. It improves on and surpasses every handbook published to date and encompasses a massive amount of information.

I look forward to using it in my classes for many years to come and I salute Holly for the enormous amount of work that went into creating this book. She has provided a gift for the entire surface design community both here and abroad.

Morgan Clifford, Professor
Art Dept / Textiles
University of WI-River Falls
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instruction and inspiration all in one volume September 23, 2006
Holly Brackmann's beautifully produced new book, The Surface Designer's Handbook: Dyeing, Printing, and Creating Resists on Fabric, is both a "how to" and a "why." Drawing on her many years' experience as a fiber artist and a college-level textile arts instructor, Brackmann covers the topics promised in the title of her book--and then some--in an encyclopedic manner. Chapters on the different topics begin with readable summaries of the historical and technological development of the process. Clear and detailed recipes and instructions for each process enable beginners to proceed step by step to successful and rewarding results as well as remind the more experienced of pitfalls to watch out for and enhancements to experiment with. The attractive arrangement of a hidden spiral binding is a practical element that enables the user to keep the book open to a particular page while working. Safety considerations, helpful hints, and other useful lists are set apart in different type and colored boxes for easy reference. The "why" comes in with the hundreds of excellently reproduced photographs of the work of Brackmann and many other fiber artists. These illustrations make the book an inspiration to artists as well as a delight for all others interested in the scope and range of textile arts today.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TREAT YOURSELF! September 24, 2006
Whatever your interest in textiles--weaving, quilting, or surface design--and whatever your level of expertise--beginner to professional--this well-written reference will be your most valuable tool. Many years of teaching experience and lots of research are reflected here. It is easy to read, easy to use and VERY easy on the eyes. Thank you Holly!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great resource for surface design September 19, 2006
This beautiful book will be a valuable resource to both beginner and advanced surface designer. If Julia Child had written a recipe book for surface designers, this would be it. With detailed instructions, dye recipes, techniques, helpful hints and gorgeous illustrations, one cannot help but be inspired by this book.

Further the spiral binding makes it user friendly, although I may need a second copy; one to treasure and one to use.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
This book is such a gift. No more fumbling around looking for that special dye recipe or surface design technique and trying to remember which book or file folder it's in. Aside from it's practical tips & EZ to ready instructions with delightful color bars, photos, & illustrations; this book appropriately addresses dye chemistry and history. I think I can now safely box most of my collection of surface design techniques and recipes.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful artist's reference! September 19, 2006
This book is just what the fiber artist or textile hobbyist need as a reference for surface design on fabric. Techniques are covered in detailed chapters. The instructions are clear and precise. The book is also quite beautiful, inspiration on every page. Holly Brackmann's well thought out book is a must for textile schools, institutions and artists. I know I will be using mnine for years to come.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Birthday Gift for My Daughter
My two daughters and I had a discussion about this book that they mentioned to me some time ago. Both wanted to have it. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Marie E. Krug
5.0 out of 5 stars Good handbook to own for textile lovers
Really good book for those who love creating their own fabric. I would recommend it because of the text, directions and pictures. Very inspiring.
Published 11 months ago by R. Winge
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect resource for dedicated surface designers
I purchased this book based on a reference from a textile teacher who uses it in the classroom. It's an excellent reference book and a fine compendium of the important details in... Read more
Published on March 15, 2012 by C'est Moi!
2.0 out of 5 stars Not step-by'step...
When looking for crafts, I think main thing is visual step-by-step help: You won't find it in this book. There are large written explanations, worksheets and figures. And then... Read more
Published on June 14, 2010 by VioletaKu
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality information; good value
I purchased the book and find the quality of the information is very good and focuses on each step starting with safety, followed by how each type of products will affect the... Read more
Published on March 19, 2010 by Mary Sue Wasson
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideas in the making
Purchased this book in hopes that it would stir ones imagination. Guess what? It did and so much more. I now use this as a mini bible for reference. Read more
Published on September 4, 2009 by Alan B. Matsuoka
4.0 out of 5 stars Surface Designer's Handbook
I'm just learning how much can be done with dyes and fabrics. This book gives a thorough overview with enough detail so that I can go to the next level with it.
Published on August 18, 2009 by Pat R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Loaded with tips
Ms. Brackmann's years of experience as a working artist and teacher provide a bounty of tips for even the most seasoned surface designer. Read more
Published on September 30, 2008 by L. Bixel
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, Inspiring, Educational & Fun
Just could not imagine a more comprehensive handbook - I learned so much and developed a great appreciation for our fabric artists and a strong desire to try many of these... Read more
Published on July 31, 2008 by Rise J. Putzke
3.0 out of 5 stars Visually so-so.
While this book is technically excellent, I found the majority of the visuals so-so leaving me wondering why to bother learning this!
Published on March 11, 2008 by Lifelonglearner
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