garden flags

An Update on the Garden Flags

garden flags

Mimi models the garden flags.

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to make my garden flags since the printer for the last ones closed about six years ago. I’ve worked out the use of fabric transfers that should stand the test of time out in the weather. These four flags have been hanging in different areas in my sunny front yard for a full month. I had figured I would be able to see early signs of fading and wear in that time. I have a review on each of them below.

The above test flags each use a different combination of cotton fabrics and fabric transfers pressed in different ways. I printed the transfer, heat pressed it onto the fabric, trimmed, hemmed and stitched the pocket at the top. They get to hang out in the yard and see how the materials and designs hold up in sun and weather.

cat garden flag

Two Cats After van Gogh flag

“Two Cats After van Gogh” is printed with a light fabric transfer finished with a “hot peel”, which means I peeled the backing off of it within seconds after it came out of the heat press leaving minimal plastic coating on the fabric. For that reason the transfer gives it a little bit of body but no real stiffness, and it has no vinyl feel at all to it. It’s printed on cotton muslin fabric and has the nicest “wave” of all, even flapping just a little where the others don’t, very light and responsive to breezes. It never curls from wetness or cold. Because the transfer is intended for light fabric it covers the fabric well and holds the art well, but doesn’t coat the fabric the way the opaque transfer does. So far it’s my choice for the finished flag because of the way it waves, but as a minor drawback the sun can shine through it, as you see above. This flag has been in full sun near the street for a month and I see no signs of fading.

cat garden flag

Garden Sketch With Mimi garden flag

“Garden Sketch with Mimi” is printed with an opaque fabric transfer on cotton muslin. It curls a little when it gets wet either from rain, me with the hose, or even a heavy dew, but flattens out again in a short time with warmer temperatures. In cooler temperatures it may stay curled longer. The art looks great because the transfer is a flat piece of very thin vinyl, but that also makes it a little stiff. This flag has a nice wave, mostly swinging back and forth and occasionally flapping a bit. This flag has been in part sun and part shade for a month, and I see no sign of fading or of mold or mildew.

flower garden flag

Greenhouse Gerberas garden flag

“Greenhouse Gerberas” is printed with an opaque fabric transfer on lightweight cotton canvas. It also curls a little when it gets wet either from rain, me with the hose, or even a heavy dew, but not nearly as much as the others that curl. In cooler temperatures it may curl more. The art looks great because the transfer is a flat piece of very thin vinyl, but that also makes it a little stiff and the canvas is a little heavier than the muslins so it tends to move less. This flag also has a nice wave, mostly swinging back and forth and occasionally flapping a bit. It’s been right up on the street in full sun for a month and there is absolutely no fading.

flower garden flag

“Evening Wildflowers” garden flag

“Evening Widlflowers” is printed with a light fabric transfer on lightweight cotton canvas. I used the “cold peel” method where I waited for the transfer to cool completely before pulling off the backing so it has a light vinyl feeling to it nearly the same as the opaque transfers, and acts much the same. It has the most extreme curl of all the flags when it gets wet either from rain, me with the hose, or even a heavy dew, and because I have it in the shadiest spot in the yard it tends to hold the curl longs. The art looks great nonetheless because the transfer surface is flattened by the light vinyl coating left by the cold peel process. It’ s also a little stiff and the canvas is a little heavier than the muslins so it tends to move less. This flag also has a nice wave, mostly swinging back and forth and occasionally flapping a bit. It gets very little sun and is in a slightly damp area. Of course, it’s been very hot with very little rain, but still, I see no signs of mold or mildew or any discoloration.

The survivors win, and I’ll start making them seasonally in quantity. I only had cat designs in the past, but now I will also have flowers, butterflies, wildlife, maybe even landscapes.

The flags are 11″ x 15″, and are printed on only one side. My prior flags were printed on both sides, but pressing transfers to both sides of the fabric has to be done at the same time or it distorts the first transfer, and the heat source is only from the top so the bottom transfer doesn’t heat at the same rate the top one does.

Mimi and I will let you know how it goes!

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