An Introduction to Sun Printing

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It's been about 25 years since I've used sun printing paper but it's something I've been thinking about for a while! Who knew there was sun printing fabric?! I made this easy little square pin cushion using 8.5" cotton cyanotype fabric squares and buttons:

Finished project 1

This applique shirt was so simple...

Finished project 2

...and I love the extra button detail:

Finished project 3

The squares I used are the Blueprints on Fabric(pink on blue) shown below:

This is what the package of Blueprints looks like

In a nutshell, the 8.5" fabric squares in the kit are pretreated with a chemical that makes them change color in sunlight. I took the squares and pinned them to cardboard backing to keep them in place and laid various objects on top to experiment:

Try things out first to get an idea how this stuff works!

I placed the board in the sun for about 10 minutes and let the sunlight do its thing. The fabric darkens slightly (not to its dark blue you would expect):

Full, bright sunlight is best

Once the fabric has been in the sun for about 10 to 15 minutes, it is washed with cold water and the dark blue color appears:

Cold water wash brings out the color

I'm pretty sure there are over million things you could do with this was my first hour of playing with it:

Example project pieces

I pinned buttons to the fabric in the shape of a heart:

The pins helped keep everything in place

I pinned one of my mother's old necklaces in place:

These turned out better than I expected!

I layered different types of lace:

The detail is amazing

I used a transparency with a superhero "POW" on it:

You can even use printed images to block out the sun

Stay tuned for more sun printing soon!

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