In this post, I’ll show you how to do a sun-print on fabric!
Cyanotype fabric printing is a combination of sun-printing and fabric dyeing.
Cyanotype is the grandfather of the sun-printing process and one of the earliest photographic techniques ever developed. The printing technique was discovered around 1948, and it produces distinctive, vibrant Prussian blue monochromatic prints.
Cyanotype was used well into the 20th century to reproduce photographs, documents, maps, and plans. The prints were often referred to as "blueprint." It is also known for making impressions of biological specimens in the field ("photograms").
The Cyanotype technique can apply to various organic surfaces, including fabric, by organic, meaning any natural material such as cotton, linen, silk, canvas, wool, even leather. I like creating these sun print on fabric because the Prussian blue it produces is undoubtedly like no other. Here is how I make Cyanotype on canvas tote bags.
1. Combine the Jacquard Cyanotype Sensitizer set solutions A and B in a 1:1 ratio and then apply the mix on the tote bag. Avoid sunlight while doing this because the chemical is sensitive to UV light.
2. Let the fabric dry thoroughly in a dark space.
3. Position the negative image on top of the tote bag. In this case, I want to achieve a clean exposure of my typography, so I've laid a piece of plexiglass on top to ensure complete contact between the film and the fabric.
4. The amount of time to get a well-exposed image depends on the sunlight, and it takes many trials and errors to get the hang of it. In this case, it took about 20 minutes of bright and direct sunlight.
5. Rinse the fully exposed fabric under running water for 10-15 minutes.
6. Dry and iron as needed.