Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Continuing with Botanical Topics - Solar Printing

Two prints on linen with "Black" SolarFast paint. The fabric was light rosy pink to start.
 I've just finished writing the April posts for the very cool blog "... and Then We Set It on Fire", where I wrote about using plants as both medium and subject matter in surface design work. I am mainly designing on fabric but works on paper show up as well. I wasn't able to post about my entire list of topics on the Fire blog, so I'll do it here.

One of the topics on my list was sun printing. I've done some of that with Setacolor paints, with good success and I am going to experiment with that again. But Robbie, of the blog "Robbie's Paw Prints", and I had a short online chat about her experience with SolarFast paints as one way to solar print on fabric with plants (and other materials). (Thanks, Robbie!)
Fern photo edited and converted to a negative on my computer (l) and the negative printing on Solarfast transparency film (r).

SolarFast paint and cotton fabric laid out on a foamcore sheet.
Spreading SolarFast paint on the fabric in a dim corner of my studio. This is supposed be the "Avocado" color.

Transparency negative immediately laid over the painted fabric, covered with plexiglass to keep it flat. I placed it in a sunny window.

Finished fabric, with transparency removed after 40 minutes. Still doesn't look like "Avocado" to me, but I like it.
This was a very easy process. A few things learned:
  • the less intense the sunlight, the longer the material needs to be left to develop. (Five p.m. is rather late this time of year.)
  • the colors of the SolarFast paint don't quite do what is expected. Be open to that.
  • although I correctly placed my printed film ink-side up (it was the darker side on my film) to avoid dissolving the ink onto the fabric when developing, I left the plexiglass on it for awhile and some evaporative moisture on it caused a small amount of ink to come off on an edge of the film.
  • the feel of the printed fabric is about the same as the original fabric. Can't wait to stitch on it!


mycamerandme365 said...

I found that when I washed the fabric, (which I use rather than paper), in the Solar Fast specific detergent, the colours were more what you'd expect.

Robbie said...

I have to say I've not yet used the black...but I've been quite happy with the other colors e.g. orange, purple, reds...love your prints. Now you have me wanting to try the black. Not sure I saw what color your background was on the black print.-

Cris Winters said...

Thanks for that comment about the specific detergent. That is what the Jacquard rep told me but I didn't understand what he meant. I used fabric for all the prints I showed, but I want to use paper soon.

And Robbie - my background on the linen was a light rosie color; the others were white. And the darker fern print (on white fabric)was exposed with more intense sunlight than any of the others. Lots of factors ;-) I liked the black too, although it comes out of the bottle looking light grey. Maybe we need the detergent.