Making cloth napkins + elei printing

Oct 27, 2018Create, Sustainable Living

A couple of weeks ago, Gabby told me she was planning her sister Siumu’s surprise baby shower and she might need some help. She said she was inspired by what I’ve been doing to live a more sustainable life and decided on an eco-friendly tropical theme for the party. What?! How cool!! This made me very excited to hear her list out all the ways she was opting for a zero waste event. I immediately offered to provide cloth napkins (instead of paper towels), and before I knew it, Gabby came over to my house with a giant bundle of orange fabric. I just had to cut and hem. But it seemed too plain, and Gabby was already pulling all the stops, so I had to level up (yassss to Ciara + Parri$).

I finally had a good reason to use this elei stencil I bought in Samoa over New Year.

It took a looooong time but once I set up my workbench and did a couple of test prints, I found my groove. I cut the long fabric into pieces that could fit 4 napkins, taped the stencil down and placed two 2×4 blocks to keep the fabric from warping, poured and painted with a roller,  took it out to the balcony to dry, and repeated this… about 15 more  times! With less than 24 hours before the event, I couldn’t leave them out to dry, so thankfully Ian helped and ironed all the pieces to heat set the fabric paint. Then I cut out the 4 napkins from each strip, and took it to my sewing machine to do a raw hem edge.

Like I said, it took foreverrrr. I started on Friday afternoon and finished at 5am the next day, just a few hours before the surprise baby shower! Oh man, if it weren’t for Gabby, I don’t think I would have done any of this but I’m glad they turned out. I’ll be posting photos from the beautiful baby shower super soon!

Trying Samoa elei for the first time | Nerelle.com

Trying Samoa elei for the first time | Nerelle.com

Trying Samoa elei for the first time | Nerelle.com

Trying Samoa elei stencil for the first time | Nerelle.com

Trying Samoa elei for the first time | Nerelle.com

Sewing napkins | Nerelle.com

Trying Samoa elei for the first time | Nerelle.com

Trying Samoa elei for the first time | Nerelle.com

4 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    What paint do u use to elei?

    Reply
    • nerelle

      I use fabric paint for elei 🙂

      Reply
  2. Kaye

    Beautiful. So when you make Elei, is drying the fabric after painting usually enough? Or do you have to iron everytime? Does it fade in the wash?

    Reply
    • nerelle

      Hi Kaye! Ironing to dry it is optional but faster. Otherwise you can air dry it overnight! It doesn’t fade after wash either when you use fabric paint. Hope that helps, and would love to know if you try elei painting as well!

      Reply

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