After a whirlwind couple of weeks that involved traveling to Chicago for the CREATE mixed-media retreat, Cleveland to tape Season 9 of "Quilting Arts TV" (and to visit my favorite museum), and a quick trip to California to help a friend celebrate a special milestone, I've finally been able to settle in back home and take stock.
|Sunning and printing at CREATE in Chicago.
As I reviewed the few photos I managed to take along the way, I came across this one of students in my Printapalooza CREATE class. They are sitting outside waiting for their sun prints to develop. So much more fun than watching paint dry!
It's so exciting to watch fabric change before your eyes using surface design techniques like fabric painting and printing. So I thought I'd share a couple of techniques with you.
How to Paint Fabric with Sun Printing
Sun printing with a stencil from
- Setacolor fabric paints by Pebeo (regular fabric paints won't work)
- Foam brushes
- Small plastic containers
- Fabric (preferably Prepared For Dyeing)
- Spray bottle filled with water
- Print board (this could be a piece of foam core)
- Stuff to print with (leaves, stencils, household items, etc., or stencils)
1. Pin your fabric to your print board so it's taut.
2. Spray the fabric with your mister. (This is so that the paint will move a little when you apply it.)
3. Pour about two tablespoons of each of the colors into your plastic containers, and splash each with water. (I usually have a 1:1 ratio, but I'm not very exact about it.)
4. Paint your fabric with the various colors using the foam brushes.
5. Place objects on top and allow fabric to dry before removing them.
At CREATE we used stencils from the Crafter's Workshop to make our prints. I love 'em...
Fabric Painting: Discharge Technique
Another way to achieve a similar effect, but without the sun, is to use a stamp or stencil on dark fabric with a discharge dye technique. Discharge dyeing removes the color from the fabric. This technique is often done with bleach, but lately I've been using a product called deColourant.
|DeColourant on fabric,
using a stencil.
With deColourant, you don't need to take as many safety precautions as required when using bleach, and the paint cleans up with mild soap and water.
1. Just lay the stencil on your fabric and paint the deColourant on with an applicator like a foam brush or brayer. Remove the stencil and let the deColourant dry; it takes about 10 minutes, or you can speed up the process with a heat gun.
2. When the paint is dry, iron it with the heat turned to the "cotton" setting. Tip: The transformation works best if you use steam. If you use the pigmented deColourant, the color will become more vibrant. If you use the unpigmented version, it will just remove the color from the fabric. Either way, the deColourant bonds with the fabric and does not change the hand.
With a stamp, the process is the same, except you roll the paint on with a brayer and apply it to the fabric. I like to make my own designs with found objects and moldable foam stamps that I can reshape and reuse. You can use this product to write on fabric, too. Just draw your letters with a brush or syringe.
I hope you find these techniques as satisfying as I do. We have supplies like stencils, deColourant, and moldable foam stamps in our Quilting Daily Shop, so it's easy for you to give them a try.
P.S. Have you tried sun printing or discharge dyeing? What kind of success did you have? Leave a comment below.