Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunprint Transfers, Part 2

Last time, I listed materials and talked about printing the inkjet transparencies for a project. I should mention that, like many transfer techniques, this one reverses as the ink is moved from one surface (the transparency) to another (the fabric). Look in your Print Properties options and select "Mirror Image" before you print.

Once you start this technique, you need to work quickly. Have all your materials gathered and with you outside before you begin. That includes your resist elements: I grabbed a fern for this example.

Pin your fabric to foamboard. Spritz lightly with plain water (very lightly if you're using silk instead of cotton).

Brush on Dye-na-Flow, a transparent fabric paint. You can use it straight up, or thin it with a small splash of plain water. The fabric needs to be wet with paint to transfer ink from the transparency, but not so soppy that the ink just dissolves into mud. Like many techniques, this one becomes more predictable with practice. Oh, and don't worry about your brush strokes -- just get the paint on the fabric.

Position your resist elements on the wet paint. Don't fuss too long trying to achieve perfection in your placement: The paint has to be wet for your next step, and it can dry very quickly in the sun.

Place the printed inkjet transparency film ink side down (that side should feel rougher) on the wet paint. Burnish the image area with one or two swipes of an old credit card (hotel key cards are great). You just need to make sure the ink on the transparency makes contact with the wet paint, and let the paint do the rest of the job.

Pin the transparency in place so it doesn't blow away. I usually use a couple of large rocks to keep the foam from sailing away if breeze kicks up. Just note that shadows created by rocks and pins can actually show up in your print. So will the edges of the transparency.

Let this dry in the sun, and we'll unveil results next time.

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