How To Make Blueprints On Fabric Using The Sun

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If youre looking for something fun and creative to do this summer months, consider blueprinting, an alternative photographic process. But you wont be creating a graphic for construction. Instead, youll understand how to use sunlight to transform a design into a masterpiece of design on fabric. You might wish to design a scarf, t-shirt, or any other fashion or garment accessory.

You can also make an art print to frame and display. Kids would love to do this easy and fun activity also. The blueprinting cyanotype or process was invented in 1842 by an English astronomer, Sir John Herschel. Nonetheless it wasnt before industrial revolution that the process was used broadly to copy drawings by architects, contractors, and designers. A blueprint used to contain white lines on a blue background.

Today the typical blueprint process includes blue lines on the white background. Getting ready to Make Blueprints Blueprinting on fabric begins with the fabric being saturated with a remedy of two chemicals–ammonium ferric citrate and potassium ferricyanide (drinking water soluble iron salts), which respond to UV light producing the compound Prussian blue. Youll be dealing with treated fabric.

Therefore, you wont need to mix any chemicals. The treated fabric is safe to use. All youll need are gloves and perhap an apron or old clothes and a drop towel to keep things from being stained. It is advisable to use a natural dietary fiber such as 100% cotton, rayon or silk. If you are using a fabric of polyester and cotton blend, the background color will not be a rich blue and could fade in time indigo. Also, before you begin assembling your project, wash the fabric to eliminate sizing and conditioners, which would interfere with the chemical reaction.

Blueprinting on an obvious Summer Day The optimum time of day to print your fabric is around noon when sunlight is overhead and the sky is clear. The UV light is most intense and the angle of the sun will help print a crisp picture. If the sun is lower in the sky, youll need to prop up your treated fabric such that it will be perpendicular to the sun.

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In this way, shadows and a fuzzy picture can be prevented. Also, select a accepted place that is wind-free; any movement will create a fuzzy picture. If you are ready to begin, place a huge piece of plywood or foam board on a table and take the treated fabric from the lightproof bag.

You should be indoors away from the sunshine when you do that. Place the fabric on the support and add to the fabric the objects that will generate a design. Try to do that quickly. Although you’ll have a few minutes, the treated fabric will begin to change color slowly. I use picture imaging software to change a digital or scanned picture to a negative. Next, I print the negative on a transparency sheet. After that, I place the sheet on the fabric and cover the fabric and transparency with non-UV covered acrylic. Put a bit of glass or acrylic (non-UV coated) on top of the design.

This can help maintain close contact between your design and the treated fabric. Consequently, motion will be prevented and light wont be able to expose the covered area. You may also choose to pin the objects to the treated fabric. If the acrylic or glass is not at least as large as the fabric, lines shall print. Fixing the Blueprint After 2-15 minutes (depending upon the time of day and year) whenever your fabric becomes dark green, bring the fabric inside and rinse it in a tub of water. Keep rinsing until the water is clear. The non-exposed chemicals will wash out.

With white fabric, youll start to see the print out come in white and blue. If fuchsia fabric is had by you, the print will be crimson and fuchsia; yellow fabric shall create a green and yellow print; turquoise shall create a blue-green and turquoise print out. The fabric color will appear in non-exposed areas after rinsing if the items covering those certain specific areas are opaque.

If the items are clear or transluscent, light are certain to get through and expose that certain area of the print out. After rinsing the fabric thoroughly, hang it to dry inside. Care of Your Printed Fabric If you want to clean the fabric, always select a non- phosphate liquid cleaning soap such as Woolite or Dove. It is better to hand wash than machine wash.