|My first attempt at sun printing on fabric|
Since then I've done quite a bit of sun printing and am partial to a couple products. But I thought for my post this week I'd revisit the paint, but this time use good fabric paint and screen printing ink. I was pretty surprised at the results.
I decided to paint both pieces of fabric with similar colors and fern placement so that I could get a good comparison.
So let's get started. After covering my work surface with plastic, I mixed up my paints - one set of Jacquard Textile Paint and the other Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink. You can use the paints full strength for a real dark color, but I mixed them a little with water. How much water is up to you. I've mixed them half and half and various combinations. However, I like my pieces darker so I tend to mix with less water.
|Screen printing inks mixed and ready to use|
Once I was happy with my fabric, it was time to start painting. I use sponge brushes for this. If you are painting in the sun you need to work fast so the paint doesn't dry. However, I keep a spray bottle with water nearby to keep the fabric moist.
After I'm happy with the painting job, I add masks. These can be botanicals, stencils, lace, wood cutouts, or whatever you'd like to use to make a design on this fabric. (I've tried using plastic ferns and they don't work. First of all, they won't lay flat on the fabric. I tried putting a piece of glass over them to keep them down and that did not work at all!!) Whatever you are using as a mask needs to be able to be flat on the fabric so it blocks out the sun.
As I put my ferns down, I use a little more paint to help them adher to the fabric.
After I'm done with the placement of the masks, I check to see that the ferns are flat on the fabric. I usually help that process with with a little spray from my water bottle. If the ferns or whatever you are using aren't flush against the fabric, you won't get a really clean print.
Once I'm happy with my design, it's time for the sun to do it's thing.
|Left: textile paints; Right: Screen printing inks|
Now is the hardest part - waiting for the fabric to dry!
I'll be back tomorrow with the results.