Sun Printing Fabric with Dye-na-Flow

I took advantage of Thursday’s sunshine to do some more sun printing, but this time with Dye-na-Flow. Carol emailed me to say she sun prints with Dye-na-Flow. I’ve used this paint before, but not for sun printing so this was the day to try it.

If you are not familiar with Dye-na-Flow here is the description from the Dharma Trading Company:

“Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow is a free flowing, concentrated liquid color for use on any untreated fabric. Works on untreated leather or paper too. It will spread on fabric until it is thoroughly absorbed and even. Every fabric has a different flow and spread. It is magical on silk, but it works on any type of fiber, natural and synthetic. On silk it has an even luster. On velvet it is rich. On cotton the color does not alter the feel of the fabric. Dye-Na-Flow is incredibly versatile.

Dye-Na-Flow is especially good for silk painting, either the serti (resist) method using water-soluble resists, or for watercolor techniques. You can spray or airbrush with it on just about any untreated fabric. You can dilute it with water and tie-dye using squirt bottles and then set the paint in a commercial dryer or with an iron. Really nice effects and it’s fast and easy. Water based and non-toxic.”

If you are new to my blog, here are my other sun printing projects that I’ve posted in the past.

This is what I did Thursday with these paints.

Sun printing with Dye-na-Flow

Sun printing results

Here are the supplies you need:

  • Jacquard Dye-na-Flow
  • Fabric -works best on natural fibers including cotton and silk, but can be used on any fabrics. For best results, wash fabric to remove any dirt and sizing.
  • Sponge brush
  • water and water container
  • plastic
  • stencils, leaves, cutouts – anything you want to use as a mask

First, prepare your work area. I do this outside. Cover a surface with plastic. This is where you will be painting. I like being able to have a work area where I do the painting and then leaving it for the sun to take over. When I first started sun printing, I painted my fabric indoors and then carried the fabric on the plastic outside which also worked. This is much easier.

Table covered for sun printing

Table covered for sun printing

Then cut fabric to sizes. Here are some of the stencils and masks I used.

Fabric and masks for sun printing

Fabric and masks for sun printing

Next soak fabric in water.

Fabric soaking in water before sun printing

Fabric soaking in water before sun printing

Lay out a few pieces on the work surface. Smooth them out as much as possible. Work with just a couple pieces since they need to remain moist. If you are working out in the sun as I was, the material will dry real fast.

Placing wet fabric on surface

Placing wet fabric on surface

Add Dye-na-flow. I have the small squeeze bottles that make it easy to apply the paint. If you are using the regular containers, just dip the brush in and paint onto the fabric.

Applying paint to sun printing fabric

Applying paint to fabric

Now add more water to the brush to spread the paint around. Keep adding more paint and water until you are happy with your fabric color.

Adding paint and water to sun printing fabric

Adding paint and water to fabric

Add the masks. This could be stencils, household utensils, cardboard cutouts, leaves, etc. Make sure to pat the masks down so they have contact with the fabric which will keep the sun from those areas.

Now is the hardest part – waiting for the sun to do its thing!

Sun printing table

Table with fabric waiting for sun to print

I took a couple hours off, went inside and ate lunch. When I returned the fabric was dry and ready for the reveal. I love this part. I get so excited – just want to jump up and down! So I thought I’d let you come with me and see how I saw it.

Sun printing with stencil

Revealing the Artistcellar stencil sun printing image

 

Removing fern from sun printed fabric

Removing fern from sun printed fabric

On another piece of fabric I laid down fern leaves and then covered the whole piece with needlepoint plastic canvas. So I removed the masks in two stages. First the canvas.

Removing canvas from sun printing

Removing canvas from sun printing fabric.

Oh, I like that! Now to remove the ferns.

Removing ferns from sun printing

Removing ferns

Oh, I really like that!!

To set the paint, iron for three minutes on the wrong side of the fabric. I waited 24 hours for it to “cure” and then ironed it, but I think since the sun really dries it good, you probably don’t have to wait that long.

And here are the results:

Artistcellar Cathedral Stencil sun printing

Artistcellar Cathedral Stencil sun printing

You will notice on the left one the edge of the stencil did not mask the sun. That is because I warped the stencil in this project!  I have learned not to use my heat gun on stencils!

Number stencils

Number stencils and potato masher sun print

Crafters Workshop Numbers Collage Sun Print

Crafters Workshop Numbers Collage stencil sun print fabric

Crafters Workshop Harlequin Stencil Sun Print fabric

Crafters Workshop Harlequin Stencil sun print fabric

Fern sun printed fabric

Fern and needlepoint canvas sun printed fabric

And a closeup:

Closeup of fern and needlepoint canvas sun print

Closeup of fern and needlepoint canvas sun print

Fern sun print

Fern sun printed fabric

Closeup of fern fabric:

Closeup of fern sun printed fabric

Closeup of fern sun printed fabric

Carpet mat sun print

Carpet mat sun print

That was fun! I really like this paint for sun printing. I need to do some more before the sun is gone!

If you’d like the instructions for using Dye-na-Flow, you can download my Dyenaflow pdf.

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