Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sun Printing....the Basics

I have had a few questions about the sun printing process, so I thought I would give you a quick tutorial. You don't need a great deal of supplies for this. The correct paints, fabric that has been thoroughly washed to remove any chemicals, water and SUN. so here is all you need to know

These are the paints. They are Setacolor transparent paints made by Pebeo. This process does not work with other types of fabric paints.  OOOPS!!! apparently I am in error. I am told that other paints will in fact work for this process, Thanks Terry,  looks like I will be doing a little experimenting .....so, let me just say that in this case, Setacolor paints were used.
you will mix your paint with water...that's it....too easy.
Generally the ratio you want is 2 parts water to 1 part paint or for even more effect 1-1 (the more diluted the paint the less intense the print will be)
I always begin with my piece of fabric dampened to allow the paint mixture to flow easily across the surface. It also helps the colours mix and blend. I place my fabric down on a board or some Styrofoam that has been covered with plastic, keep in mind that any lines or scrunching of the plastic will transfer to your final image (sometimes you can get some really cool texture this way)
Now with a paint brush or foam brush, start spreading your colour across the damp fabric. I often use several colours and allow them to mix in some of the areas. Don't be shy, get it good and wet with the paint mixture. Place the items you are wanting to get an image of directly onto the wet paint. If they are very light weight, find a way to hold them down . Items that do not sit flat against the fabric will not produce a sharp clear image.
now take the whole works outside and place it in an area where the sun can do it's magic and leave it to dry
Drying time will vary depending on how wet you got your fabric and how strong the sun is. I always leave it as long as I can just to be certain it is very dry and to get the most dramatic effect. (note the difference between how the colours blend from the wet piece to the dried one below, as well as the texture created by the plastic underneath. I am never certain if heat setting is really necessary at this point (think the sun already did that for me) but I do it anyway.

the fun of the reveal

good colour blend, interesting texture, great images......and now...nicely painted feathers......more inspiration!


Terry Grant said...

Actually the process will work with any fabric paint, even regular old acrylic paint. Setacolor just wants you to think their paint is the only one that does this! Your feathers are GORGEOUS! Feathers. Why did I never think of that?!

Quilt Rat said...

Thanks Terry, I have edited the post to reflect this information and will definitely be playing with some of the products I have in my studio.
Always great to learn more uses for our lovely bottles of colour

Needled Mom said...

Beautiful and I enjoyed reading the process.

Joan said...

Looks wonderful Jill - really effective. I must give that a try one of these days :)

Silvia "OrkaLoca" Dell'Aere said...

Thank you very much for this post, it will be very useful!

Cheryl said...

I dyed some fabric about 2 months ago and enjoyed it, I never thought to use feathers though, thank you for that idea!
I love the way you did yours. I use the Jaquard paint dye for fabric.
It works good also.

Clare Wassermann said...

Thank you very much for the ideas. Nest can you tell us about rain printing because we aren't having a terrible summer here in the uk!!!!

Shirley said...

Any transparent acrylic paint is supposed to sunprint. The issue is that if it is not a fabric paint the 'hand' of the fabric is stiffer as there is no textile/fabric medium to keep it soft. Golden transparents are stiffer. Acrylic inks will sunprint too. I tried some opague paints and found they don't sunprint so it's hard to find a light colour, say pink, to use as the lightening medium makes the paint more opague.
Any way it is too much fun.

landscapelady said...

Great info, love those feathers. Since I hadn't read all these other reports that any fabric paint will work, I did a little experiment do my own http://landscapelady.blogspot.com/2012/08/sun-print-experiment.html
And reported my findings on my blog, but yes other fabric paints work. You inspired me to get into sun printing again, which should be a ritual every summer. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us :-)

Anonymous said...

gorgeous- I have been collecting feathers for awhile, and now I know what to do with them!

Diane J. Evans said...

Gosh, these are beautiful, Jill. I can only imagine what project lies in store for them. I, too, was under the impression that the paints had to be transparent for this process to work. Can't wait to get out the old paintbrush and have at it.


Royce said...

Once again you made it all look so easy. i must try this. Your feathers are beautiful and could stand alone as fiber art.

Bunny said...

It's been a while since I visited, and all I can say is you always WOW me. I just love your work and your appliqué quilt is gorgeous. Love that border, very inspiring.

arlee said...

I'm obviously confused--if any paint works? How does it bleach out/fade UNDER the resist??????

Fun, Factual, Weird, and Breathtaking said...

Thanks for sharing the process you use to create such beautiful fabric! This is definitely I want to try.

Copyright Jill Buckley