Monday, July 25, 2011

Citra Solv Transfer Method - French Cat Chair

The Citra Solv transfer method has become my favorite way to create my own design on fabric.  You can see the pillows that I made using this method HERE.
My sister wanted to recover 4 dining chairs, and requested a design that incorporated "French" and "Cats".

The above picture shows my supplies - bottle of Citra Solv Concentrate (I ordered mine online, I couldn't find it locally), small paint brush, old spoon and ruler.  I also made sure to use put something on the counter to absorb any extra - I used a paper grocery bag.

For my design, I found clipart cats online, and used MS Word for the text.  The text has to be a mirror image, so that when it is transferred, it will come out properly.  Computers and programs differ, but the program I used was Mac Preview (Tools - Flip Horizontal). 
The hardest part of the project might be finding a toner based printer/copy machine that will work with the Citra Solv.  I had to try a couple before I found one that worked (my local Kinkos copiers did not work).  I found an old copy machine in a grocery store that worked perfectly. 

 First step is to tape the design to the fabric, so it doesn't slide around.  I did mine in layers, starting with the cats.

A small paintbrush works well - dip it into the Citra Solv and lightly paint over the design.  The design will show through as soon as the liquid touches it.
The spoon is used to burnish the image - I used the back of the spoon to rub over the design.  It needs to be pressed fairly hard - but not hard enough that the paper rips. 

A large design with lots of solid area can come out kind of splotchy.  I don't mind, I was hoping for a Vintage-y look. 

 I used a ruler to line up the words.  Taped on and then burnished.

 I also added numbers to the bottom.  Same process as above.

And this is the finished product (it is still a little wet).  Once the Citra Solv has dried completely, I ironed it to set the image.
Check back to see the finished chairs!


  1. Cool! I really like the image you created.

  2. so cool. i can't wait to see the finished chairs!

  3. thank you for the detailed tutorial. I am new to all this and was wondering how it was done. I cant wait to try-

  4. I just came across your blog and I love this but I can't find your cat image anywhere. Can you remember where you found it?

    1. No - I have no idea where I found it! I may have scanned it from something. But I think I have a PDF of the image saved, I'd be happy to email it to. Just let me know your email address.