- Do not expose fabric to direct sunlight until ready to print!
- Do not get fabric wet before or during exposure. Make sure your hands are dry before handling the fabric. Also be sure that what you place on the fabric (and what you place the fabric on) to expose is dry.
- Always use gloves when handling fabric.
- Practice on a small sample piece of fabric first to get used to the process. Fabric will be yellow-green when unexposed. The final blue color will not be visible until the fabric has been printed, rinsed and dried. Design blueprints using almost anything, leaves, lace, toys, confetti, drawings on acetate transparencies, old glass negatives....
- Unexposed fabric CAN be ironed before exposure. Use a DRY iron that does not spit or leak water. Use a cotton or silk setting (depending on fabric to be ironed). Iron on wrong side of fabric and/or use a pressing cloth.
- A small amount of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (1 teaspoon H.P. to one gallon water) can be used in the first rinse water. This will cause the blue color to immediately deepen to it's final color.
- RINSE FABRIC THOROUGHLY and DRY OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT!
- Use within 6 months for best printing results (bright blues and good contrast).
- Store extra fabric in black plastic bag in a cool, dry place.
PLEASE NOTE: The fabric or paper will tend to darken over time even when sealed in black bag - do not assume that fabric or paper is expired - give it a try - sometimes all that is needed is a longer rinse in hot water after exposure.
- Blueprints are photographs – not dyes.
- The image is permanent, but the blue color will change to yellow if washed with phosphates, soda, borax or bleach.
- To preserve the original blue color – hand wash using only a small amount of NON-PHOSPHATE liquid soap. Rinse thoroughly and dry flat.
- Dry cleaning is NOT recommended.
- Blueprints can be ironed using a dry iron. The blue will change slightly while warm and return to the original color when cool.
1. Prepare design indoors out of direct sunlight.
2. Pin fabric to cardboard or foam pinning board.
3. Arrange design objects on fabric.
4. Pin design objects in place or cover with a piece of safety glass (non UV blocking).
5. Take prepared fabric outside and place directly facing the sun.
6. Exposure time is approximately
• 5-10 minutes on a warm, sunny day
• 15-30 minutes on cooler days
7. Remove from direct sunlight and then remove design objects.
8. Rinse fabric thoroughly in plain water until water runs clear.
9. (Optional) Add a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to the rinse water . This will cause the blue color to immediately deepen to its final color - otherwise the blue color will deepen over a period of 24 hours.
10. Lay flat, OUT of direct sunlight, until dry.
- Blurry prints: This is a contact printing process. Transparencies and negatives must be firmly in contact with the fabric. Pin carefully, or use a piece of heavy glass to press design elements to fabric. Board must be perpendicular to the sun for even exposure. Printing in cloudy weather does not provide distinct shadows
- Water spots: Caused by wet hands or wet leaves dripping on the fabric or paper before or during the process.
- Streaks: Brown on back of print, dark line on front. Fabric or paper not well rinsed. Rinse again immediately.
- Dark blue prints: Black areas of transparencies not dense enough, too little toner or ink. Too long in the sun, reduce exposure time. Not well rinsed, and print continues to expose.
- Very pale blue: Hazy, cloudy weather, very cold, pale winter sun, too little exposure.
- Surprise prints: Remove ravels, pins and extra items from board before printing.
- No print: The glass or plastic cover piece has UV blocking.