Review: Bobbinhood’s Ultimate Easy Screen Printing Book

What’s the book called again?
The Ultimate Easy* Screen Printing Book – *with easy we mean really easy

Who’s it by? 
Bobbinhood (aka Barbara de Ru)

When was it first published?
2018

Where can I get it and how much does it cost?
On the Bobbinhood website for €39.

Who’s it for? 
Printing newbies who want an easy, joyful way to learn how to screen print onto fabric. And long-time printmakers in need of a big, colourful book to turn to for inspiration and technical tips in times of need.

When will I read it?
If you’re starting out printing on fabric and you’re looking for a set of fun-to-follow instructions, or if it’s been a while and you just need a refresher. It covers tricky areas like how to deal with printing over seams, dealing with zippers, and printing a repeat, as well as fun things like printing on socks! …Not something I’d previously considered.

It would look lovely on a coffee table or studio shelf, too, so you can dip in and out of it for tips and ideas. It also makes a great treat for your eyes when you’ve been struck with a bout of creative block.

What’s the best bit?
It’s hard to choose one thing… I love the bright, bold design, the funny-but-informative text, and the beautiful double-page photography that makes you want to climb inside and get printing.

On top of that, I’m a big fan of the social and environmental message at the book’s foundations, and indeed, Bobbinhood’s raison d’être. There’s a sealed section called ‘Things we don’t want to know’. I’ve not opened it yet. But it apparently covers the horrors of the fast fashion industry. I will venture in there soon… but I’ve also watched True Cost – the documentary Barbara mentions as a turning point in her life that triggered the creation of Bobbinhood. It’s a very moving film, and a truly horrendous look at this incredibly greedy and inhumane industry. (Watching it was a tearful experience and made me vow to never buy new clothes again.) It’s an important reminder that we each have the power to make a our own personal protests against harmful industries by taking production into our own hands. Screen printing is one way we can take back control.

What’s interesting about the author?
Apart from Bobbinhood’s excellent taste in design, ability to make confusing things fun and easy, and sound moral values? She’s based right here in the Netherlands! (Her studio is in Rotterdam). Both the book and Bobbinhood as a company seem to be built on the spirit of collaboration, environmental awareness and spreading the love…

So it’s top marks from Utrecht Print Exchange.

Find out more on the Bobbinhood website, and check out the really lovely, print-happy photos and in-the-making videos on the @bobbin.hood Instagram feed.

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