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16 November 2017

Glass Design Techniques: Laminating Glass

Laminating glass is one of Daedalian Glass Studios most versatile product offerings due to the multitude of materials at our disposal. Examples of materials used as interlayers in our laminated glass designs are:

· fabrics         · wood veneers        · stone veneers        · metal mesh        · metal leaf   

      · wire mesh        · digital prints        · coloured films        · handmade papers

Beyond the additional design possibilities, laminating glass offers several key benefits such as increased thermal insulation, shading, and increased safety as laminated glass panels hold together even when shattered.

voile fabric
A single layer of voile fabric laminated between low iron glass.

In this blog we will focus on the EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) lamination of fabrics.  Firstly, the above picture shows a lightweight voile fabric laminated between glass and was taken at a private residence in London. Voile fabric is by far the most popular type of fabric we use and is available in a large range of colours and shades. The brief for this project was to create a dividing glass wall and door between the gym and pool areas of the room – allowing limited vision and natural light through whilst providing clearly separated spaces.

laminated fabric
Multiple layers of ruched fabric laminated between low iron glass.

Increasing the design complexity slightly, here E003 Snow and E010 Slate coloured ruched fabrics were layered and carefully placed to create a patterned design of varying densities. To complete these doors, glass handles were cut, polished and bonded to the doors.

linley logo
Laminated fabric between low iron glass with the company logo bonded to the surface.

Bonding can also be used to add surface textures such as signage. The above picture shows laminated design (created for David Linley) using a single layer of fabric with a vertical weave and the company logo bonded to the surface. Taking this technique further, glass such as fused or cast pieces can be bonded to the surface to create a 3D textured design.

laminated sheer fabric
Nine layers of sheer fabric laminated between curved low iron glass. The butterfly detailing was created using fused glass and bonded to the laminated panel.

Within the design, multiple layers of fabric can also be combined to create contrasting of fading designs. This picture, taken from a jewelers re-fit, shows nine layers of sheer fabric – overlaid with the material becoming increasingly denser towards the base. The frayed edges were also folded over and laid out flat along with pleats ironed into the fabric to create double layered flecks of contrast.

etched glass detailing
A close up of etched glass detailing with the frayed fabric ends also shown.

As a final piece of detailing within this design, fused and sandblasted butterflies and dragonflies were added to the front face of the glass. Etching on the front surface allows fine details to be integrated into the laminated glass design whilst etching on the rear face can add a greater level of depth and perspective.

metal mesh laminated
This splashback design features multiple layers of fabrics, fabric mesh, and metal mesh. These were carefully laid out to build a 3D pattern and laminated between glass.

Design depth and perspective can also be created through the use of contrasting interlayers. This splashback was designed to sit behind a bathroom sink uses metallic knit and metal mesh layered over ruched sheer fabric. Additionally, a mirrored back surface has been used to create a greater feeling of depth to the design.

milky EVA
Milky EVA is used to limit the transparency of fabric laminated between low iron glass. This is used when a degree of privacy is required without sacrificing the flow of light.

So far all these designs have been relatively see-through. Of course, sometimes this is simply not suitable due to privacy needs.  In these cases, a milky EVA (lamination agent) can be used to control the transparency of the glass – the result being a dense yet translucent glass enclosure that allows natural light to pass through while also allowing for privacy. The above picture is of shower and toilet cubicles at a private house in Lancashire. Here the owned was keen to allow natural light to pass through so that the spaces were not too dark but did not wish to see through. This brief was fulfilled by laminating two layers of white ruched fabric using a milky EVA to control the transparency of the partitions.

The technical limitations when creating laminated glass panels are that our laminating kiln can fit panels measuring 1.5 metres by 3 metres. In terms of thickness, we have laminated fabrics before in our studio that range from a negligible thickness up to around 50mm thick. The glass that is used to laminate this fabric can range from 4mm to 19mm in thickness and both sides do not need to be the same.

If you would like to browse a selection of the laminated glass designs in our portfolio, click here to visit the laminated section of our digital sample library.