What is Lutradur, and How Do I Use It?

I had never heard of Lutradur before today. True, I am more of a traditional quilter, but I would love to begin doing more art quilts. I saw something today that really got me excited. This video about Lutradur, presented by Heather Thomas of Wild Heather Designs, really got my mind racing and my psyche saying, “YES!! This is so cool!”

What is Lutradur?

Let me first tell you a little about Lutradur. No, it is not a cholesterol medication, but it sure did sound like it to me at first. Lutradur is a spun-bond polyester stabilizer and is being touted as “The New Big Deal” in the mixed media art quilt community.

It comes in two weights, 70 grams and 100 grams. The 70 gram Lutradur melts easier and at lower heat, whereas the 100 gram Lutradur is more difficult to melt but better to print on.

lutradur 1

Painting Lutradur

This medium is wonderful for added dimension in your mixed media projects. One of the best ways to use Lutradur is to first paint it. You can use a variety of paints; Dynaflow and Luminere by Jacquard are the paints Heather uses in her segment. Because Lutradur is web-like, the paint will go right through it so it is important to put a towel under the Lutradur while painting to absorb any excess paint. If you are really adventurous, you can use fabric under your Lutradur and do a little fabric painting at the same time.

lutradur 2

Adding Glitz

If you would like to see a little added glitz, try some metallic paint. Dip your brush into the paint, dab off any excess, and then run or drag it through already-painted areas just for a little punch of WOW! Set aside to dry. Dry time will depend on how much paint is used. When completely dry, it will be ready for use.

Photo Printing

Lutradur is also a great medium for printing photos on. If you plan to do this, however, you will need to first prepare it with one of the following preparation tools:

• Digital Ground Medium,

• Ink Aid, or

• Bubble Jet Set

These mediums need to be painted onto Lutradur, first painting in one direction with a paint brush and then paint in opposite direction. You can paint left to right, right to left, top to bottom, bottom to top; just make sure it is covered if you plan to use it in your printer.

lutradur 3 Once it is completely dry, send it through your printer for a beautiful quality print with extra texture! Lutradur that is sent through the printer is a perfect medium for thread art, and better yet you won’t need stabilizer because Lutradur is a stabilizer itself.

Mixed Media Art Quilts

And still there is more… it’s like Christmas morning! Heather also demonstrated ways to melt and score Lutradur as a great design tool for mixed media art quilts. It is important to remember that 70 gram sheets melt much quicker than 100 gram.

lutradur 4 In the video, Heather walks you through how to properly melt each weight. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area.

lutradur 5 She also shows ways to make the edges more interesting as well as creating designs in Lutradur by scoring it. When scoring, be sure to use a heat-resistant surface such as glass, tile, or a cookie sheet. One of the most important tools to use when melting or scoring the 100 gram sheets is patience. It’s thicker and will take longer to melt.

lutradur 6 Hard to believe, but that is not all! You can also pre-quilt painted Lutradur before melting it. You will first need to layer your sandwich with backing, batting, and top material. Next apply dried painted Lutradur, pin it securely, and begin quilting! Any metallic paint you may have used will make melting a bit more difficult, so just be patient. The hot air gun you use will melt in between the quilting lines giving an aged look with depth and texture. I am so stoked to try this technique; I’m heading out to pick up my supplies. I’d love if you would do the same and post some of the results you get with your new skill.

Remember, this is your community so let’s get the conversation going! How many ways are you planning on using Lutradur? Happy quilting my friends!

Related Video: Using Lutradur for Painting, Melting, and Printing

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15 Responses to “What is Lutradur, and How Do I Use It?”

  1. Joey

    I'm pretty sure Pellon is the same material

  2. Jan C Clark

    I look forward to learning how to use this!

  3. Marlene Sargeant

    I'm looking forward to trying this out.

  4. Marjorie Fleat

    Thankyou, a very useful and informative article.

  5. helen

    I basically do the same things as you do with lutradur - paint, melt, but I use fabric paint. After all that is done I rip off pieces and create some sort of landscape in an abstracty way. I arrange the torn pieces and pin them onto 'melt away and use my sewing machine to sew into it using a variety of stiches. I then wash the 'washaway' away, paint a cotton canvas with some sort of background and then adhere my arrangement with fabric glue/and or sewing back into it. It's a fairly long process but SO MUCH FUN. My original idea is never the same as planned. There is always the question of 'what if?' and hence a lot of rearranging, deleting and adding. Hope this makes sense.

  6. Letha

    How interesting-thank you.

  7. Moe Bearb

    Sounds very interesting. Want to know more

  8. Vicki Larson

    I am very interested in printing photos to use in a quilt. Can the printed photos be stitched to the fabric and then quilted lightly? Will it last if stitched onto the quilt fabric or will it eventually deteriorate? Can it be washed? I can't find this information. I Googled "Lutrador" and found various places to purchase it, but not explanation of details for its use.

  9. Judith Rona

    I'd be cautious about melting painted Lutradur. While Lutradur on its own might be heat-safe (I assume the manufacturers have okayed melting it?), some paints may be unsafe at high temperatures. Self-taught artists and crafters are sometimes not aware enough of safety issues, like flammability, toxicity, fumes. Art supplies that are safe for general use might not be safe to heat, and different colours in the one range, and by the same manufacturer, might not be equally safe (for instance, compare chrome yellow and chrome orange with other yellows and oranges ). Always check the ACMI (Art and Creative Materials Institute) or equivalent guidelines before using a product in a non-standard manner.

  10. Susan Chinouth

    Thanks so much for the tutorial! I also just happened to see that video and am just as excited about Lutradur. I had already forgotten about what it was called! I was glad to stumble upon your comment! My grandson wants a tractor quilt and I want to use it for pics of both grand dads and his dad and him seated in their tractors as photo blocks with tractor fabric. I guess I may have to consider using paint also......! This may turn out to be really more creative than I imagined it would be when I started.