A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sun Printing with SolarFast and stencils

Today we're going to continue  playing with SolarFast (SF) and using it with stencils.  This method is very similar to using negatives (paint fabric, lay on stencil, set out in sun and watch the magic happen!).
But before we show some 'simple' stencil sun printing I want to talk about what to do with those negatives that just aren't right.  Last August, I printed out two negatives but one of them just didn't have the right contrast.

I didn't show this in my first post because the fabric didn't pick up any of the picture...hence, I had a solid piece of fabric.  Not enough contrast in the negative.

I didn't want to throw out the negative (above) so while reading Jacquard's Tips and Tricks for using SF, they suggested you can paint directly on a transparency or use a pen (this is what I did in my 1st post to enhance the veins on the leaves) to draw onto your transparency.

I placed the stencil (above) directly on top of the negative and painted the entire stencil using Lumiere Blue metallic paint.  You want to use an opaque paint.

When the stencil was covered, I removed it and quickly washed off the paint and set the negative to dry thoroughly.

Here is a piece of mono print  fabric and the negative with the stencil 'painted' on top.  Ready to print!!

I painted the fabric above with Black SF, laid down the stencil on the painted area and placed a piece of glass on top.

I mentioned in my first post, I like to use my heavy brayer to make sure the stencil adheres to the wet area.

I didn't leave this piece out in the sun for a long time.  There was already black from my original mono printing on the fabric so I didn't want the piece to be totally black.

You can see where the painted areas prevented the sun from affecting those areas.  This piece looks really cool in person.

The other cool thing on using SF dyes is you can mix/combine colors or you can just paint different colors onto your background.

 For this piece, I used Golden Yellow SF to cover the entire piece.  Then I painted Purple SF and painted over the yellow.  You can see the negative on top of the painted area, covered with glass and yours truly taking the picture!

I used my new 'stencil/negative', exposed to the sun and got this great piece!  The shadows from the original negative show up better in this piece than in the first green piece (above).  This piece will defintely get used!

Now, I've mentioned that once you've sun printed a piece using SF, you need to return your piece inside away from the sunlight or you might lose your highlights.  The background piece you see below is a perfect example.  I painted the entire background with Sepia SF, laid on my stencils...once I saw a nice pattern, I brought the stenicls in the house but I left the fabric in the sun!  Well, guess what!!  I ended up with an almost solid piece of fabric.  But that's ok...it's back to "waste not, want not", right!!  You can see some areas are lighter....

I took another stencil and laid ontop of my 'solid' fabric and then painted over the stencil using Black SF.

This was the piece 'sunning' itself!

And the washed and dried finished piece.  Pretty cool!!

This is actually a plastic film that holds a Tim Holtz tools mask! .

In sun printing, you can use anything!  I painted this white cotton sateen with Blue SF, laid the film on top of the wet fabric and covered with glass.

And the finished piece.  I really like the Blue SF...reminds me of Indigo!

So those are some examples for using stencils with SolarFast.  I'm happy with the results and, very similar to sun printing in our previous posts, you can use anything (leaves, metal rings, etc.) to print with.
Tomorrow we're going to show some of those techniques along with some Shibori results!!


  1. Great post! It has me shifting in my seat itching to get back out there to do some more!

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