Sun Printing Fabric

One of my biggest Summer Crushes has always been Coloring Fabric Outside! Using paint and dye in the grass makes cleaning up a breeze! In summer, when ever the weather is good enough to bringing tools and materials outside, I bring tools and materials outside. I love being outdoor, and when I can I bring my creativity with me…

Sun Coloring fabric in Summer with iHanna at #diy

Anything drippy and messy is always fun, but with a tiny kitchen I avoid things like spray painting and dying fabric until the Swedish summer hits. And now it’s here! So let’s go outside and be creative, messy and stock up on fabric for future projects.

The paints we used are sun colors from Finland, that are sold privately, but I think you can find similar colors on the web. Sun colors give the best results outside, because the light of the sun is what makes the stencils “print” (bleach of the color) on fabric.

Let me show you!

Mixed Paints

Sun Printing Fabric

You mix the colors with an emulsion, wet the fabric in water entirely and then apply the paint anyhow you want. Then you lay out the fabric flat on the ground, to dry, and apply anything that you think will make a print… Buttons, twigs and stones, leaves, pre-cut stencils or any pattern you can find or make up!

Sun print in the making
A big fern leaf is perfect for printing with, if you can make it stay flat enough.

Flower pattern in the making
This flowery paper stencil made a great print!

Wrinkled to dry fabric
Wrinkling up the fabric can also make interesting (batic-like) pattern.

Curiosity killed the cat (not yet)
Always being a curious cat, Smilla wants to dive under the plastic floor, but she is not always welcome in creative activities. The fabrics needs to stay still until they’re dry.

A piece of plastic floor found in the shed made my day!

Plastic Floor Print
Plastic Tile Result
I love the pattern, and it made a perfect stencil print. Heavier stuff makes better prints, but I enjoy the experimentations most.

To remember: it’s important to take breaks from time to time. To look up from your work and breath for a while. I don’t know any creative activities that is so stressing (because of how fun it is mostly – you just want to make another one, another and then another try!) as printmaking and fabric coloring and dying. You just go, go, go. Until the color jars are empty (or the sun disappears and it starts to rain)… you finally realize that hours flew by and you didn’t even notice…

Empty jars

Then you know it’s time for coffee!

Remember to take breaks
Coffee for Hanna
MomBlue - reverse print in blue

Once the coffee break is up, another fun part of the process starts. Going through the fabrics to see which one is okay and which one you love-love-love!

And then the boring part: ironing all of it of course.

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9 Responses to Sun Printing Fabric

  1. Traci says:

    I love the stencils/patterns that you chose. Very fun! Summertime ease for the win.

  2. This looks like a really fun day in the sunshine with lovely results at the end! Yes, ironing is boring! I add a little lavender essence to a spray bottle of water and spritz it on my laundry so it smell divine as I iron. Thank you for sharing your pretty sun stenciled fabric.

  3. Robyn says:

    I have a whole set of sun dyes I bought a year or so ago. We tried it once, where I had cut out all sorts of stencils and unfortunately on the first sample I realized the black paper I used on the stencil was bleeding onto the fabric and staining the fabric. But now reading your post I am inspired to give it a new shot. Hopefully the dyes haven’t gone bad over time.

  4. Claudia says:

    I love the pattern made by the floor tile. My cats also like to “help” with projects. They feel all art is enhanced by well-placed fur.

  5. Susan C Hammond says:

    Perfect timing as I am just about to try this. I ordered pre-treated fabric and paper. But with you inspiration I will try finding the paint itself.

  6. Denise Spillane says:

    Wonderful results. Love that piece of floor thing. Such a fun thing to do

  7. Christie Juhasz says:

    Oh so many beauties…but that floor piece stencil is spectacular.

  8. Debi says:

    Oh my gosh, Hanna … this is awesome!! I’ve never done this type of thing and really no place to do something like it where I’m living at but sure do love seeing all of your pictures. You did a perfect job and it looks like so much fun too! : )

  9. zge B. says:

    The results are beautiful. I will try this with normal acrylic.

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