Sun Printing with Jacquard Dye-na-flow

Jacquard Dye-na-flow Hot FuchsiaWe thought you would like to see the results of our sun printing using Jacquard Dye-na-flow.  Jacquard Dye-na-flow are fluid paints for use on natural and synthetic fabrics.  The paint can also be used to stain wood, paint on paper, canvas, leather, suede, clay and more. Designs painted on fabric with Dye-na-flow are made washfast by heat fixing the paint with an iron.

Although it is a paint, Dye-na-flow has been formulated to simulate a dye. The bright colours sink into the fibres but do not affect the feel of the fabric as with other thicker fabric paints. It compares well to Deka Silk paint for painting on silk, and can be used for airbrushing, Tie Dye and Batik.

This versatile paint can also be used for sun printing! The paint fades or disappears completely from areas of the painted item that are blocked from the sunlight.

Sun Printing on Cotton Fabric

  1. Prepare your working surface. You will need a board or tray on which to place your fabric. Cover this with a plastic bag or cling-film.
  2. Choose some objects to use as a mask or stencil. Flat objects work the best because deep items will cast a shadow and create a blurred image. Use leaves, cut stencils, keys, washers, black images (such as text or negatives) printed on clear acetate, feathers, or flower petals.
  3. Wet your fabric and squeeze out the excess water (we used Bleached White Calico Cotton Fabric) and immediately apply the Dye-na-flow with a large brush or sponge. Remember to shake the bottle well before painting to ensure that the pigment is fully dispersed.
  4. Position your objects on the wet fabric. Light objects such as leaves and feathers may need to be weighed down with stones or a sheet of clear perspex or glass. Be careful not to cast shadows.
  5. Take the prepared item into the sunshine immediately and leave untouched while the sun does its magic! In 20-30 minutes the paint will have dried and the areas obscured from the sun will have faded or disappeared.
  6. Set the paint by ironing on the reverse for 3 minutes using a dry iron on the cotton setting. Wash the fabric in soapy water and rinse to remove any unfixed paint.

Sun print created using Dye-na-flow and a plastic stencil

Sophie chose to use a plastic stencil for her sun print

Sun print made with keys using Jacquard Dye-na-flow

Our second print was created using different shaped keys

Other techniques for Printing with the Sun

  • Create the print, heat set it and rinse out. Apply a second colour while the fabric is still damp and place the objects in a different place. Expose to the sun.

Sun Printing with 2 colours

  • Use Jacquard Solar Fast dyes for this same technique. As they are dyes the colour has a greater wash fastness and permanence on the  fabric. Fabric paints contain a binder which makes the fabric a little stiffer. Dyed fabric remains soft. It is possible to create detailed images with Solar Fast using negatives printed onto clear film. Find out more about printing with Jacquard Solar Fast dyes

Prints made using Solar Fast dyes

  • Originally a method for engineers to create blueprints (in the time before tablets and printers), Cyanotypes are created from a mix of two chemicals which are applied to fabric or paper and placed in the dark to dry. A stencil is then placed on the photo-sensitised substrate and exposed to sunlight. Find out more about Cyanotype printing

Cyanotype using a clear film

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