by Beki Ries-Montgomery
Angelina™ is a synthetic fiber that adds sparkle to any project. It is light reflective as well as light refractive. Of the four types of Angelina™: Iridescent, holographic, metalized, and electric, only the iridescent colors are heat bondable — the “hot fixx” colors– which means with a little bit of heat, these fibers will bond to each other, but nothing else, creating sheets of brilliant luster. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps of embossing Angelina™ to make shiny tiles for surface embellishment. But first, let’s review fusing Angelina™ into sheets.
This is what the loose fibers look like before heat is applied:
Basic Fused Sheet
1. Place a sheet of parchment paper approximately 24″ long onto your work surface. Preheat the iron at “silk” setting.
2. Pull out a portion of hot fixx Angelina™ and arrange it in roughly the shape of the desired sheet on the right half of the parchment paper. For a solid sheet, strive to layer the Angelina™ just thick enough so as to just barely cover the underlying parchment paper. In areas where the parchment is visible, you’ll create a lacy, filigreed sheet.
3. Fold half of the parchment paper over the top of the Angelina™.
4. Pass the iron over the top of the fibers in a slow, steady motion. Angelina™ begins to fuse at about 225°F. At higher temperatures, or longer contact with heat, the fibers begin to change colors, becoming darker and duller before disintegrating altogether.
5. Remove upper layer of parchment to reveal the finished, fused sheet.
Embossing Fused Angelina™:
Embossing works because the raised surfaces of a rubber stamp places some of the fibers into contact with the hot iron, while in the recesses the Angelina™ remains unfused or less so. Because we will be working with a thicker amount of fiber, I emboss with a hotter iron. The cooler setting will work, you would just need to apply heat longer.
1. Choose a rubber stamp with wide, deep grooves. A finely detailed stamp does not produce good results.Notice that the left stamp good for embossing but the right stamp is too finely detailed for good results.
2. Preheat iron on the “wool” setting. Ink the stamp and place it on one half of the parchment paper, design side up. Inking the stamp is unnecessary but I find that the color enhances the visibility of the embossing.
3. Pull out a dense portion of Angelina™ and place it on top of the rubber stamp. It should be thick enough so as to completely hide the stamp below. Fold loose ends of fiber from around the edges back onto the stamp.
4. Fold the parchment paper over the Angelina™. Place hot iron over top and hold. I slowly count to ten before lifting the iron. I find that when I peel back the parchment paper, if I can see the stamp image on the upper surface of the Angelina™ it’s been heated long enough. Experience will teach you how long to apply heat.
5. Remove fused Angelina™ from stamp. You’ll notice a halo of unfused fibers around the edge of the embossed image. If you like the effect, you’re finished. If not, you can lightly fuse the loose fibers as done for the basic sheet. Or, you can trim off the loose fibers.
Note: If the impression on your finished tile is indistinct or nonexistent, and the rubber stamp is appropriate, try again with a thicker amount of Angelina™.
Your embossed Angelina™ is now ready for embellishment. I’ve found stitching or glue stick to be the most successful means of attaching fused Angelina™ to other surfaces.
There you have it. Now off to the studio with you and play!