Lutradur and the

New Fibers

Creating Mixed-Media Art
with the New Spunbonded Materials

Wendy Cot terill

Lutradur is the most popular of the spunbonded synthetic fabrics available
and is manufactured in different weights. It was developed primarily for use
as an industrial fabric—for example, as a carpet backing particularly for the
automotive industry—so you probably have Lutradur all around you when
you are out in your car. It is made from 100 percent polyester spun fibers
that are thermally bonded and has a flat, calendered surface.

Spunbonded textile and stitch

The lightest weight of Lutradur (30gsm) works well combined with fine
fabrics such as organza. It is quite translucent, so when any piece of work
is mounted on top of another colored fabric, the overall color scheme is
altered, sometimes giving the same effect as shot fabric. Coloring it first will
provide some depth of color or color mixing, although 30gsm Lutradur is
not dense enough to give a deep color.
Medium-weight Lutradur (70gsm) is the most versatile of all those available,
as it is strong enough to give physical support yet dense enough to reflect
additional color where required without being overly structured. It is also
fine enough to be heat distressed without producing an excessively dense
fabric. This weight is also available in black—technically, charcoal in color.
The heavier weights of Lutradur (100 and 130gsm) are more densely formed
and reasonably self supporting and are ideal for constructing freestanding
objects such as books or smaller three-dimensional objects. They can be fed
through an ink-jet printer without having to be stabilized on freezer paper.
Lutradur XL (230gsm) is a much denser, opaque fabric, which when heat
distressed appears to melt away in layers. Lutradur XL is also thick enough
to create a sculpted surface using a soldering iron.
With the success of Lutradur in recent years, the introduction of new
weights is planned, including 18gsm, 50gsm, and 300gsm. 18gsm is a very
fine, softer version of Lutradur, 50gsm bridges the gap between 30 and
70gsm, while 300gsm is similar to a felt and is constructed by a needlefelting process rather than thermal bonding.

right: This is a combination of 30gsm and Lutradur XL stamped with a water-based

paint. The uppermost layer of 30gsm Lutradur was printed with transfer dyes and foils.
A soldering iron was then used to cut square apertures, which were tied to the dyed
Lutradur with cotton pearl thread. The top layer was then placed on the Lutradur XL and
fused together in places across the surface with a soldering iron, creating surface texture.
17" x 14½" in (43 x 37 cm)

left: This book cover was created using a
dyed piece of Evolon Original randomly
printed with rubber stamps.
6" x 8" (15 x 20 cm)

Spunbonded textile and stitch

Stamping on Evolon
Although a fabric with a discernable “surface,” Evolon is capable of accommodating rubber stamping very well as it captures even very fine detail.
Foam stamps are also a very useful tool for creating less-defined shapes for
backgrounds and general repeat patterns.

below: Acid-dyed Evolon was used as the

basis for this bag. Water-based paint
and a foam stamp created the surface
decoration, followed by a machine satin
stitch. The whole piece was then placed in
an embroidery hoop and heat distressed
with a heat gun. Finally, small sections of
fused Angelina fiber and crystal organza
were used to create the bag lining.
6" x 5" (15 x 12.5 cm)

Spunbonded textile and stitch

above: Unlike the similar Lutradur pieces,
this sample had pre-dyed Bondaweb
applied to transfer-dyed Evolon.
4" x 4¾" (10 x 12 cm)
right: Both of these pieces were dyed,

stamped, and heat distressed. The blue
sample was discharged with bleach. Acid
dye will discharge quite readily.
25" x 25" (50 x 50 cm)

Evolon is a spunlaced web consisting of continuous filaments. It is made
from 70 percent polyester and 30 percent polyamide polymers, extruded
as alternating segments in a single filament. The filaments are drawn at
a high speed and laid on a conveyor belt, and split lengthwise into single
microfilament segments using high-pressure water jets that simultaneously
tightly entangle and consolidate the filaments. This process enables the
finished fabric to appear to have the qualities of paper or a paper-like
structure as with Evolon Original. Further washing processes will produce
the softer, brushed finish of Evolon Soft.

Spunbonded textile and stitch

Evolon is a clean technology, and is ISO 14001-certified. The water used
to split and entangle the filaments is recycled internally, in a closed-loop
process. Evolon complies with EC regulations on chemicals and their
safe use. It contains no binder or solvent and skin contact irritations are
prevented as it is PVC free, making it an eco-friendly alternative fabric.
Evolon provides ultraviolet protection and thermal insulation, can be
ultrasonically cut, and is washable, breathable, and quick drying. Having a
superior mechanical construction, it will not lose its shape, but at the same
time has soft drape and is lighter weight than its woven equivalents.

Evolon Original and Evolon Soft
Because Evolon is a mixture of polyester and polyamide (nylon), it can be
dip dyed in hot water acid dye.
in creating the surface pattern on this
piece: transfer dyeing, ink-jet printing,
and rubber stamping. The Evolon used is
the loomstate version and was left white,
which makes any transfer dyes appear
much brighter. The text was applied using
the photocopy mask technique. Two
pieces of Evolon were printed through
an ink-jet printer to achieve additional
patterning and finally overstamped with
rubber stamps.
6¼" x 6¼" (16 x 16 cm)

Evolon can be heat distressed, much like all of the other fabrics listed;
however, because of the nylon element, it will melt or cut at a higher
temperature than, say, Lutradur. In some ways this is all to the good, as the
burn or melt can be more easily controlled.
Evolon Soft feels very much like a chamois leather and is equally tough due
to the spunbonded construction. This makes it a much more user-friendly
fabric for everyday items such as bags, cushions, and even clothing as Evolon
is also breathable.
As Evolon has proved to be popular, several other weights are planned,
including 60, 130, and 170gsm in both original and soft finishes.

Spunbonded textile and stitch

below: Several process were involved


Discover the potential

of spunbonded textiles

Spunbonded textiles are a type of man-made fabric that are strong and flexible,
but also often soft and warm to the touch, making them ideal for textile art. They
can be washed, dyed, painted, printed, stitched, burned, fused, foiled, stenciled,
and slashed with ease.

Spunbonded explores different types of spunbonded textiles—materials like
Lutradur, Evolon, head-distressable tissue, Tyvek, and Kunin. Learn first how to
color with painting, printing, and dyeing. Next, Wendy explains heating, distressing, fusing, and soldering techniques for which these spunbonded textiles are
perfect. Additional techniques include image transfer, foiling, and stamping.
For mixed-media and fiber artists who are looking to get started with spunbonded textiles, Spunbonded is the essential guide to using these versatile textiles.
After 12 years in the fashion industry as a designer and pattern-cutter and then
tutor on fashion subjects, Wendy Cotterill developed interests in broader textilerelated subjects. She is now a teacher of textile arts and exhibits her successful
experimental work.

Part 1: Tools and techniques
• Equipment
• Using color
• Coloring and dyeing
• Creating texture
• Using images
• Backgrounds
Photographic images
• Themes
Part 2: The Fabrics
• Lutradur
• Crystal-effect spunbonded
• Evolon
• Heat-distressable tissue
• Tyvek
• Kunin felt
• Nappy liner
Further information

8½ × 107⁄8, 128 pages
ISBN 978-1-59668-334-1
Available April 2011

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