Sun Printing

Ballet Stars (Homespun fabric printed with cut outs and Salt)

You will have noticed if you read my posts and go into my Blog Store that I use a lot of a technique called Sun Printing Sun printing is fun and a lovely way to achieve spontaneous and delightful markings on fabric and other surfaces. I use sun printing both in my textiles and in my paintings I have also used it to decorate wooden furniture and mirror frames in fact anything you can lay flat and lay stencils on.
Many items that have a high degree of two dimensionality can be used a stencil,; feathers, buttons, leaves, grass ribbons, grains of rice, you are only limited by your imagination and the fact an object may be too bulky to gain good contact with the surface. The flatter the better. I cut a great many of my own stencils now especially if I want the background to reflect the image I may print over the top.
The function of this page is to guide you how to use it I do sell small sets of Dala Sun Colour repackaged into small quantities, I used to sell these from the Rainbows End Website now however I have closed that down and am only operating from my blog. You can buy Sun Colour from a number of sources on the web just Google and you will find many options to purchase from. I will not be selling any more of the sun colour however very soon I will make a selection of stencils available in the Store .These will sell at a very reasonable cost per set.
This is Dala Sun Colour and Peoblo Soliel both are used for this technique

Sun Printing

Getting Started
1. Spray Bottles;
 Sun Print can be applied in various ways, however my favourite way is simply to use a garden spray bottle for the application this is a simple and efficient method , and user friendly for children and workshop participants. Sun Print is very concentrated pour a small amount into your bottle and then add water, you may strengthen or dilute to your own requirement. Use one spray bottle per colour. The Sun Print may be stored indefinitely in these bottles.

2. A padded surface your paper or fabric will need to be kept as flat as possible for the stencil to make the best connection with your material . This does not matter for primed canvas or wood. I have made a board from a piece of plywood that I have stapled an under blanket to then stretched and stapled a piece of calico over the top. This then enables you to pin stencils down as light things like feathers may blow away in a breeze
 A padded board with feathers and plastic butterflies pinned to fabric

3.Stencils the flatter the object you choose to expose the more defined the result 3-d objects are not suitable unless you only want to contact one flat side. Here we can have some fun feathers, are wonderful as are leaves and flower petals. I have had excellent results using cardboard cutouts and lace table cloths you are limited here only by your imagination. Be aware however whatever you use will be permanently stained so don't use your best lace tablecloth!.

 A leaf pinned down as a stencil

The print left by the leaves  

Stencils cut out from block out fabric

The resulting print from the block out

4. Rock Salt try sprinkling this over your fabric after you have pinned your stencil down it will give a wonderful range of soft effects as it draws the colour and causes lovely random marks.

5. Finishing your creation Sun Print needs to be heat set to fix the pigment this can be achieved by simply ironing your textile on an appropriate setting. If you have created a canvas and wish to paint into it further any good quality acrylics can be used they will match and blend in with the sun print beautifully, you may see examples of this in my gallery. Creations on a wooden surface may only need to be finished with a clear mat vanish spray.     

         Acrylic Paintings I have done using a Sun Printed Background