Breakdown Your Palette by Leah Higgins

What is breakdown printing and why do so many of us love it? This book is a detailed step-by-step guide to the process. Put simply, it is a two-step screen printing process using water-based media, such as dyes, to first make what we call the ‘breakdown screen’. The second step is printing with that screen. It relies on the unpredictable wetting out and breaking down of the dried media as we print, making each print on our fabric completely unique.

Why do we love it? Because it allows us to create wonderful, organic texture and marks on fabric that cannot be created by any other process. The marks cannot be wholly predicted, or controlled, which is especially liberating for a control freak like me. The process is simple; the resulting prints complex. Just as importantly, we love it because breakdown printing is accessible – it doesn’t need specialist or expensive equipment. With this book you will see that you can breakdown print at home, safely and affordably.

In the book you will:

  • find an in-depth guide to breakdown printing using Procion dyes on cotton, silk and other natural fabrics

  • learn how to use recycled, repurposed and easy to find tools and equipment to start breakdown printing at home

  • explore single colour printing, multi-colour printing, and how to use temporary resists on your screen

  • discover how your breakdown printed fabric can be enhanced by adding or removing colour.

The book contains over 350 images spread over 124 colour pages with a mixture of detailed ‘how-to’ sections and inspirational examples.