On the Surface | Potato Printing

Grainline Studio | Printing Tutorial

Hey! We have an exciting new series of tutorials for you. We are going to be showing you how to design fabric using all types of surface printing techniques. We are partnering with Dharma Trading Co. aka our favorite resource for buying basic high quality fabrics and surface design supplies. Our first tutorial is Potato Printing on the Willow Tank. We chose Dharma’s Bamboo Rayon for this project. It is a heavier fabric but, is super soft and breathable. They have so many options!

Grainline Studio | Printing Tutorial


Grainline Studio | Printing Tutorial

1. Prewash, dry and press your fabric.

2. The first step to creating a surface design with a potato stamp is to dream up a motif. I used this photo from Jen’s trip to Iceland that I found really inspiring; paired with my love of French fries and basic shapes.

Grainline Studio

3. Draw your shapes out on a piece of graph paper, tracing paper or copy paper (however you want to roll) and cut your shapes out. Now cut your potato in half. Because the cut side of the potato is wet the stencil will stick to the potato. Slap it on there. Using your hobby knife cut the flesh of the potato around your shape. Now your stamps are ready!

Grainline Studio | Printing TutorialGrainline Studio | Printing Tutorial

4. Cut out your Willow Tank pattern pieces and spread your fabric out over a soft service. Pin down. I have found that potato stamps don’t stamp very well on hard surfaces. For this part you could use a towel or a piece of scrap fabric or a piece of felt.

Grainline Studio | Printing Tutorial

5. Mix your color on your palette or use the color straight from the jar. Spread the ink into a thin layer on your palette using your soft rubber brayer. Once your brayer is all inked up use it to transfer the ink to your potato.

Grainline Studio | Printing Tutorial Grainline Studio | Printing Tutorial

Grainline Studio | Printing Tutorial

6. Gently and evenly press your potato onto the fabric. Repeat steps 4&5 until you have a surface design!

Grainline Studio | Printing Tutorial Grainline Studio | Printing Tutorial

Have fun!

Grainline Studio | Willow Tank

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9 Responses to On the Surface | Potato Printing

  1. claudia says:

    Hi, I love printing on fabric too, but I was wondering (depending on the ink or paint)how long do you let the paint dry on your fabric ? Thanks

  2. Ms Cleaver says:

    You literally printed with french fries. That is awesome!

  3. Peggy says:

    I made potato prints in high school art. Monogram stationery. It was a step in a printing section. Did linoleum stamps, mono prints and silk screens. Have to say those were better classes than my college classes. Switched majors partly because of that. Did not stop creating. Oh and what about sponge prints?

  4. Karina says:

    French fry print is genius!

  5. Mel says:

    Absolutely love this!!!

  6. La Fabrica says:

    Hi there,

    I was wondering about what will be the best fabric to chose for this lovely pattern and tutorials, and I got confused by something. The Essex substrate, which is about 5.3/ 5.6 oz per square yard, is a lot heavier than the rayon for this project ( at 3.2 oz per sq yr as is written in the Dharma website), however you say that the rayon is heavier. I wonder what I’m getting wrong.

    I live in Israel, shipping fabric is expensive, so I need to know all what I can about substrates before I order. Thanks!!!!


    • Jen says:

      Hi – we’re not saying that the Bamboo Rayon is heavier than the Essex, we actually don’t mention Essex as far as I can find in the post, just that the fabric is a bit heavier than we expected when ordering, and in general on the heavy end of lightweight fabrics.

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