Mittal Tea House, Delhi

Enjoying our tea tasting at the Mittal Tea House in Delhi.

My husband and I love tea. We have a cupboard that holds a variety of teas ranging from Chinese Green Gunpowder, to flavored rooibos teas, to an Assam we bought at the Mittal Tea House in Delhi. We have our morning cup of tea together, and often observe a proper 4:00 p.m. tea time, complete with cookies or scones. We sample teas from local growers, concoct herbal infusions from organic herbs for immune support, healing, and nourishment, and even prepare our own Masala Chai. Our love of tea is integral to our lives.

So, naturally, I was inspired to make a print in homage to tea!

Tea cup drawing and pattern repeat

The original tea cup drawing on the left, and the resulting pattern repeat created in Photoshop.

I started with a sketch that I turned into a repeat in Photoshop. After the initial pattern was created, I burned a screen with my thermofax machine, and did some test prints on cotton and a shiny upholstery fabric.

Screen printed tea cup fabric.

The results of my hand printed fabric using the tea cup screen.

Not really satisfied with the results, I decided that the image might be a good one to use as a try out for Spoonflower, a fabric design service that will print any quantity of fabric you order! So, after I manipulated the color a bit, I digitally uploaded my file to the site.

Tea Cup Repeat; Digitally printed fabric

The left panel shows the original digital file after color manipulation. On the right, is the printed fabric from Spoonflower.

The fabric took about 10 days to reach me after I placed the order. I selected small quantities of two different cottons so I could see the way the print appears, and also to test the fabric with my book making.

Cat sniffs fabric.

Lucy inspects the tea cup fabric.

I love the fabric I received from Spoonflower. It is of excellent quality and the printing holds up for my applications. It is SO perfect-looking that it doesn’t really integrate well with my screen and block printed book covers. However, I can definitely see myself using it for other purposes, like garments, for example.

I’m going to keep trying tea cup variations. I want to simplify the image so it prints more crisply with my screens, or maybe even as a block print.

Maybe I’ll contemplate my next idea over a nice cup of Darjeeling…

16 responses »

  1. I love tea, too! And I had never heard of Spoonflower, but had to check out their site. It makes me wish that I could render all the things in my imagination. Sigh.

    • There are some really awesome fabrics there, but also some pretty crazy ones as well. I haven’t had any more printed but I definitely will.

  2. Pingback: Thanks for the Compliment! | Art Is Not For Sissies

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