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Sun Prints with Transparent Fabric Paints - Tried & Tested

Transparent fabric paints are very effective when used to create sun prints. Here we demonstrate prints made using Jacquard Dye-na-flow and Deka Silk paints in the evening sunshine using leaves as the mask.

Dye-na-flow and Deka Silk Sun prints Sun Prints using Fabric Paints

Creating the Sun Print

First make the fabric wet by spraying or brushing water across the surface and then apply the paint in the same way. Place your opaque objects onto the fabric while it is still wet. The best prints are achieved by using items such as leaves, petals and cardboard cut-outs, as these will lay flat across the surface and cause less shadow.

Place the prepared fabric in bright sunshine. As the sun begins to dry areas of the fabric that are not covered, the wet paint from beneath the mask is drawn to the dry fabric surrounding it.

Sun prints using leaves as masks Jacquard Dye-na-flow and Deka Silk are effective for creating sun prints

Varying Results for Sun Prints

The sharpness of the print is determined by how close the mask is to the fabric. The image below shows a slightly blurred image on the left which is the result of the leaf not laying flat, and a much clearer image on the right where the leaf was laid closer to the fabric.

A close-up of the sun prints A close-up of the leaf sun prints on the fabric

The fine weave of the white cotton fabric used for this print has also helps with the sharpness of the image. It is better to used a finely woven fabric made from a natural fibre such as cotton, viscose, silk or wool.

The painted fabric needs to remain wet until the masks are laid in place and then the quicker the painted fabric dries, the whiter the image below the mask.


If you would like to have a go, a larger range of fabric paints and cotton fabric can be found here on the George Weil website.

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